Fire chief saves coach at kids' basketball game
WARMINSTER, Pa. - April 5, 2010 (WPVI) -- In Bucks County, they're still marveling over the life-saving efforts of a local fire chief.
As it turns out, his heroics weren't performed while battling a blaze, but at a kids' basketball game.
John Cochrane, 62, was coaching his grandson's team in the Warminster Basketball Association Championship game in Bucks County when, during a time-out, he fell to his knees and quickly blacked out. He was falling victim to a massive heart attack.
That's when Mitch Shapiro jumped in. Shapiro's son plays on Cochrane's team but he's also the chief of the Warminster Fire Department.
Fortunately, the gym where the game was being played is equipped with a defibrillator, also known as an AED.
"I placed the AED on him and listened to the prompts and it advised me for a shock and we shocked him and within 5 or 10 seconds he was alert and conscious and back with us," Shapiro said.
"I was breathing and I was coherent and I could see all the people around me but I only heard my wife's voice and my wife saying 'don't let him die, please don't let him die'," said Cochrane.
A short time later Cochrane was inside Abington Hospital where he underwent successful heart surgery.
Now he's back home spending time with his wife and family but still haunted by the words his doctor spoke when he was still at the hospital.
"'You should be dead. If that man out there didn't do what he did you're dead'." Cochrane recalled.
He still has a hard time talking about what happened that day but he still wanted to make sure that he said one thing specifically to Chief Shapiro.
"So for that I say thank you and God bless him because he's a good man, he really is."
pennsylvania, bucks county, heart health, local/state, walter perez
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