Naples runner collapses during half marathon, bystanders and paramedics save his life

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NAPLES, Fla.- A 59-year-old man is recovering in the hospital after going into cardiac arrest while running in a half marathon on Sunday. Paramedics said Greg Wolpert collapsed just before the finish line.

“What was so critical here was the bystander CPR, people recognizing what was going on and getting involved,” said Bill Warren, an EMT with the City of Naples Fire Department.

Those critical moments were all captured in pictures. Images show Wolpert laying on the ground and bystanders rushing to help him.

Within minutes, paramedics and firefighters with the City of Naples were able to take over.

“We hooked up our Lifepak 15, we were able to recognize he was in a shockable rhythm, at that point we delivered a shock and we were able to get a pulse back pretty quickly with the patient,” said Warren.

“The victim’s heart wasn’t actually pumping blood it was just quivering. You have a very small window of opportunity to be able to correct that issue,” said Lieutenant Paramedic Erick Baltodano with the City of Naples Fire Department.

With proper training and equipment, the four first responders that were on scene were able to save Wolpert’s life. “You don’t really realize the value until you’re able to put all those things together and see this kind of outcome, see someone communicating with you as you transfer them to an emergency room,” said Warren.

In 2013, paramedics with the Naples Fire Department were able to save a female runner’s life the same way. She collapsed during the Turkey Trot Run.

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