After dramatic rescue at PNC Arena, Wake Co. officials urge CPR lessons

From left to right: Greg Rodevick - Wake EMS, Rich Eldridge - Wake EMS, Ty Solomon - SC State player, Benji Currie - Wake EMS, Tyler Long - SC State athletic trainer who started chest compressions.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)  — Wake County paramedics helped saved a college basketball player’s life when he collapsed from cardiac arrest at PNC Arena on Saturday.

The paramedics want the community to know what to do if the situation ever happens to them.

RELATED: Wake County paramedics talk about saving SC State basketball player

Wake County paramedics Greg Rodevick, and Rich Eldridge were on the court of PNC Arena when South Carolina State redshirt senior Ty Solomon collapsed from cardiac arrest.

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Because the paramedics were so close, Solomon was able to get treatment in seconds. However, most cardiac arrest calls in Wake County have to wait longer.

“Those minutes matter. They matter a lot,” said Jeff Hammerstein, the assistant chief of Wake County EMS.

Hammerstein says every second that ticks when someone is in cardiac arrest is a second the heart is not beating correctly.

“If someone is collapsed and not responding, don’t sit back and wait for us,” he said

Hammerstein says every year Wake County paramedics respond to about 600 cardiac arrest calls.

Wake EMS is pushing for people to do more than just make a 911 call.

Hammerstein says in some cases, people have a fear they will do harm performing chest compressions. He says there is nothing you can do that is worse than someone dying from blood not flowing because of cardiac arrest.

“By you not being willing to step in and help that person you have lowered their odds of surviving,” said Hammerstein.

Saturday the paramedics who helped saved Solomon also had help.  Before the Wake County paramedics got to Solomon, S.C. State’s athletic trainer Tyler Long immediately began doing chest compressions on Solomon.

Paramedics say those 30 seconds of chest compressions helped save Solomon’s life — and in a similar situation you can do the same

On Monday, January 8 at 7 p.m. Wake County EMS will give free CPR, defibrillator, and bleeding control lessons at the EMS center on 221 South Rogers Lane Suite 160 in Raleigh.

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