Mar 25, 2021Two Athletic Trainers Save Referee’s Life during Football Game
Two fast-acting athletic trainers sprang into action when a referee suffered a heart attack during a football game last week on Long Island, New York.
During a weekend game between East Meadow High School and Farmingdale, Phil LoNigro collapsed while officiating the football game, according to a report from CBS New York.
“I dressed for colder weather, bundled up a little bit. End of the first quarter, I felt really, really hot,” Lonigro told CBS New York. “Last memory was just everything going black.”
That’s when East Meadow athletic trainer Dan DeSimone and Phil Fandale, Farmingdale’s athletic trainer, left their sidelines and converged on the field to come to LoNigro’s side. According to the report, both quickly realized the referee wasn’t breaking and had no pulse.
“My first instinct was to run for the AED,” Fandale said. “The AED won’t advise a shock unless the rhythm stops. At a certain point, the AED said shock advised. Within less than a minute, he came to.”
DeSimone added to CBS New York that while Fandale was prepping the AED he began doing compressions.
LoNigro was taken to a nearby hospital for observation. As a firefighter for 40 years, LoNigro was well aware of the procedures the athletic trainers used, telling CBS New York that he has saved about 10 people using defibrillators.
“Mostly an EMT CC, which is an EMT critical care,” LoNigro told the news outlet. “I use defibrillators all the time, monitors all the time. I can’t be I ended up on the other end of one.”
According to CBS New York, it was the first time the two athletic trainers had to use the device.
“It’s one of those things we train on an annual basis for,” DeSimone told CBS New York.
Fandaled added, “Just trust your instincts, and your training sets in.”
To read the full story from CBS New York about two athletic trainers coming to the aid of a referee, click here.