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Two Rivers community saves a referee's life after a heart attack during a basketball game

Two Rivers - On Tuesday, the Two Rivers Raiders hosted Valders in a basketball game, but in the second half a referee collapsed to the floor in a very scary situation.

Witnesses say the refs lips were blue and he laid lifeless on the gym floor with no pulse, but the referee survived this heart attack because of the immediate response at the game.

Athletic Director Matt Latour and assistant principal Craig Rysticken raced into the hallway and each grabbed one of the two schools automated external defibrillators.

Meanwhile the Two Rivers athletic trainer Amy Hagen and several nurses and two off-duty paramedic EMT's came out of the stands and started performing CPR on the referee.

"He showed signs of cardiac arrest," said Zach Peterson one of those EMT's from Two Rivers, the other was Brad Olivera from Manitowoc. "It's hard to explain, it is a different situation when it happens in front of you, as an EMT you have an idea of the situation before you arrive on scene."

The referee regained consciousness after chest compressions were performed as well as one shock from the AED, this team in Two Rivers saved the referees life, so emergency responders could get the referee to the hospital.

"We have a lot of people to thank," said Athletic Director Matt Latour. "That is really one of the great things about this area we really are a family, a community down here."

And it showed, and that sense of community extended to the students including the players and fans from both Two Rivers and Valders.

Because the school decided to cancel the rest of the game, Valders got the victory, but it was a scary moment with students concerned and that concern continued into today.

"I want to commend the student section from both Valders high school and our high school," said Latour. "I think it is refreshing to see some genuine concern on the part of some of our young people."

More than anything this story shows the importance of first aid, CPR, the AED and the ability of people to know how to respond using these skills.


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