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May 24, 2013

Planet Fitness employees honored for saving man

22-year-olds credit defibrillator training for success

CLARKSVILLE —

Quick, clear thinking led two 22-year-old Planet Fitness employees to get high praise from Clarksville firefighters this week.

Braxton Carver and Kayla Smith were presented with Outstanding Community Service award plaques by Clarksville Firefighters Union 2594 on Tuesday after saving a man’s life at the Lewis and Clark Parkway fitness facility.

In the last week of February, at about 1:30 a.m., a man running on a treadmill machine suffered an unidentified cardiac episode that left him lying on the ground and unresponsive.

“He was seizing and just going nuts and turning pale, so I told Kayla to go get the defibrillator, and I called 911,” Carver said. “Everything after that is pretty much a blur.”

Carver and Smith had received training as Plant Fitness employees to use the defibrillator. Carver said other patrons alerted her and Smith of the man’s dire condition, and they automatically went into response mode.

After approaching the patron, Carver said couldn’t find a pair of scissors to cut the man’s shirt, so she just lifted it up so she could attach the two sticky ends of the defibrillator on man’s chest and the side of his torso. As the employees were applying the defibrillator, Smith said the man’s body had turned purple, then white. After the defibrillator’s screen read “shock advised,” she pushed its button, which activated the shock, causing the man’s chest to be raised off the ground.

“After that, he kind of fluttered a little bit and then he was good,” Carver said. “We haven’t seen him since.”

The two explained that the man no longer comes to the Planet Fitness during there nighttime shifts, but he is known to have returned to workout at other times of the day.

Although paramedics had arrived, the man refused hospitalization, despite the recommendation from professionals, Carver and Smith said. Smith said after the man came to, she had to tell him that he was shocked by the defibrillator.

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