A student and two staff members from Brock University were presented with awards from the Lifesaving Society for their dramatic roles in saving the life of a rowing team member who had collapsed without a pulse while training.
Student trainer Daniel Vermunt, men’s rugby coach Les Gilson and Mayla Parrent, associate director of Campus Security, were honoured last night at the Brock Athletics Annual Awards Dinner in St. Catharines.
The three leapt to action last Nov. 13 when an 18-year-old varsity rower from Niagara Falls collapsed at the rowing centre at the University. Vermunt and Gilson were waiting for a bus outside the centre when Vermunt heard shouts of, “Someone is down!” Vermunt, who holds the Lifesaving Society’s Standard First Aid and Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) certifications, rushed inside to find that the rower was not breathing.
As EMS was notified, Vermunt called to a bystander to get the AED. Gilson then arrived and, with Vermunt, began two-person CPR and used the AED to shock the heart of the ailing student.
Parrent, also a Society Standard First Aid and AED certificate holder, was next to arrive, and she helped with compressions. The three performed CPR for 10 to 15 minutes before the young man began shallow breathing and EMS arrived.
Vermunt and Gilson only happened to be nearby because a bus was late in picking up the rugby team and taking them to an Ontario University Athletics bronze medal game, said Gilson.
“It was a whole bunch of little things that happened to fall into place,” he said.