An assistant coach and police officer helped save the life of a referee at a high school football game in northern Illinois on Thursday.
Officer Rick Richardson of the Wheeling Police Department also serves as an assistant coach for the Wheeling High School junior varsity team. He was at the game Thursday night when a 55-year-old referee fell to the ground from an apparent heart attack.
It was in the middle of the second quarter, according to Richardson, and it was the last game of the season. He ran out into the middle of the field, and when the referee lost consciousness, Richardson performed CPR.
Meanwhile coach Joe Wolinski — who is also a health teacher — retrieved an automated external defibrillator to restart his heart, according to the Daily Herald. One shock was enough to do it, Richardson said, and he was able to talk and answer questions.
The referee was treated at a nearby hospital. Richardson has been nominated for a lifesaving award from the department, according to police.