Great Lakes Shipmates of the Week: Life-saving Sector Buffalo marine inspectors

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo marine inspectors take a moment from their duties of inspecting Maid of the Mist tour boats moored in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, to pose in front of Niagara Falls, April 17, 2013. (l-r) Chief Warrant Officer David Baisden, Lt. Cmdr. Maureen Johnson and Lt. Christopher Mercurio. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Kurt Benson

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo marine inspectors take a moment from their duties of inspecting Maid of the Mist tour boats moored in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, to pose in front of Niagara Falls, April 17, 2013.
(l-r) Chief Warrant Officer David Baisden, Lt. Cmdr. Maureen Johnson and Lt. Christopher Mercurio.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Kurt Benson

Coast Guard marine inspectors protect life by ensuring vessel safety, but this week’s shipmates of the week were a little more hands on than usual. 

 On April 17, 2013, marine inspectors from Coast Guard Sector Buffalo were conducting inspections, alongside an inspector from Transport Canada, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada of four tour boats owned by the company Maid of the Mist when an employee of the company collapsed on the pier near them.

The inspectors ran to the man who was showing signs of a heart attack.

The team immediately began cardio pulmonary resuscitation and bandaged his head wounds sustained when he fell. They provided care until emergency medical services arrived.

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo marine inspectors pose for group photo after returning from the inspection of Maid of the Mist tour boats moored in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, where they successfully administered CPR to save a man's life, April 17, 2013. (l-r) Kurt Benson, Chief Warrant Officer David Baisden, Lt. Gregory Jensen, and Lt. Christopher Mercurio. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Buffalo

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo marine inspectors pose for group photo after returning from the inspection of Maid of the Mist tour boats moored in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, where they successfully administered CPR to save a man’s life, April 17, 2013.
(l-r) Kurt Benson, Chief Warrant Officer David Baisden, Lt. Gregory Jensen, and Lt. Christopher Mercurio.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Buffalo

The inspectors continued to aid EMS, who had attached an automated external defibrillator to the man, and gave him electrical therapy to get his heart beating properly again.

The Coast Guard members were: Lt. Cmdr. Maureen Johnson, from Orchard Park, N.Y., Lt. Christopher Mercurio from Baldwin, N.Y., Lt. Gregory Jensen from Big Flats, N.Y., Chief Warrant Officer David Baisden from Mentor, Ohio, and Kurt Benson from Cassadaga, N.Y.

“Our reaction was almost second nature,” said Mercurio.

“Performing CPR is not something that we expected to do, but it is a skill set that is expected of the Coast Guard as a first responder. We are just glad that had the opportunity to take action and save his life.”

The man’s family called Johnson from his hospital room to tell the inspectors that the man was awake and talking and to thank them for saving his life.

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