Following UT’s September 2 football game, a Vol fan was walking away from Neyland Stadium when he collapsed in front of the Howard Baker Center on Cumberland Avenue.
UT Police Department Corporal Jeffrey Quirin, who was nearby, saw the man fall face down into the grass. When he checked on the man, he was lifeless and not breathing. Quirin radioed UTPD dispatch for additional assistance and quickly began CPR, while a civilian checked for his pulse. Shortly thereafter, units from the Knoxville Fire Department and American Medical Response arrived on scene.
Together, they continued CPR and used an automated external defibrillator to shock his heart. His pulse returned and he was transported to a local hospital.
Just a few days later, the man walked out of the hospital.
“These kinds of situations is exactly what we have people there for,” said KFD Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks, noting that all the first responder personnel were part of UT’s game day unit.
Wilbanks said he was in awe that the man left the hospital of his own abilities with no issues because of the heart attack.
“I’ve been in this business for 30 years and I don’t know many people who have walked away from this situation,” he said.
This situation happened in the best possible place, said AMR Operations Supervisor Jim Meadows.
“Everybody was right where they were supposed to be, from the UTPD officer that got on the scene and started CPR to the quick use of the defibrillator to the quick transport to the hospital,” he said. Even though (giving aid) is what we’re trained to do, most of the time it doesn’t work. When it works, it’s a good feeling for everybody.”
In addition to UTPD’s Quirin, first responders who helped the Vol fan included AMR’s Natasha Wise, Brittany Bruner, Josh Crutchfield, Mechelle Sellers and Cindy Stanton; and KFD’s Mike Terrill, Andrew Link, Tim Woods and Justin Roberts. Civilian Nathaniel Nolley also provided assistance.