Wheeling Cop, Football Coach Helped Save Referee Suffering A Heart Attack

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Wheeling police officer and football coach probably weren’t expecting to help save a life during a high school game on Thursday night, but that’s exactly what they did.

Varsity Coach Joe Wolinski and his players decided to watch the Wheeling High School freshmen game before their own game.

“All of a sudden, the referee went down,” he said.

The 55-year-old referee had suffered a heart attack.

Without hesitation, Wolinski, who also teaches health at the school, grabbed an automated external defibrillator and rushed onto the field.

“I applied the AED pads,” Wolinski said. “I kind of let the machine run its course.”

Meantime, Wheeling police officer and assistant football coach Rick Richardson performed CPR.

“Eventually, the AED actually told us to stop care because he had regained consciousness,” Wolinski said. “His heart had come back.”

Miraculously, the referee was able to talk with paramedics before being taken to the hospital.

A day later, Wolisnki said he’s no hero.

“It was one of those things where it was kind of right place, right time,” he said.

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