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Rochester Mayor Commends OPC Staff Who Saved Pickleball Player's Life

Three Older Persons' Commission staff members receive "Life Saving Award" during City Council meeting.

A routine game of Pickleball at the in Rochester literally turned deadly for Robert Thomas last month when he collapsed in full cardiac arrest on the court.

Luckily, three alert OPC staff members saw Thomas fall and were able to revive him using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and CPR.

To recognize their quick thinking and lifesaving actions, Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson and Fire Chief John Cieslik presented Cindy McKenna, Matt Spierling and Becky Ridkey with the Life Saving Award Monday evening during the Rochester City Council meeting.

"They established that Mr. Thomas was not breathing and had no pulse," Cieslik said during the meeting. "They started CPR, they went for the Automatic External Defibrillator. ... Mr. Thomas is in our audience today to be present with the awards."

"We're very proud of the OPC," said Rochester firefighter Chris Coe, who responded to the 911 call from the OPC. "We're very proud of our staff."

Thomas, who has since been outfitted with a pacemaker, is grateful to McKenna, Spierling and Ridkey, as well as to Coe, firefighter John Shepp and the two other Rochester firefighters who responded to the call.

"I love the OPC staff and the Rochester Fire Department," Thomas said. "They are the best."

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