State College

Gym employee helps save a life with CPR

Mark Koschny and Scott Nakoski, center, are presented with plaques by, from left, Penn State Police officer John Torres; Scott Woodring, of Port Matilda EMS; Scott Rhoat, of Bellefonte EMS, Kasandra Botti, an emergency medicine physician at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
Mark Koschny and Scott Nakoski, center, are presented with plaques by, from left, Penn State Police officer John Torres; Scott Woodring, of Port Matilda EMS; Scott Rhoat, of Bellefonte EMS, Kasandra Botti, an emergency medicine physician at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Photo provided

Scott Nakoski knows the value of being in the right place at the right time — especially with the proper training.

Earlier this month, Nakoski was working his shift at Koko FitClub in Ferguson Township when a woman entered the facility in search of someone who knew CPR. He followed her out into the shopping center where a man had fallen unresponsive to the ground. Relying on his training, Nakoski was able to administer CPR and an automated external defibrillator before EMTs arrived at the scene.

On Wednesday, the Centre County Sudden Cardiac Arrest Chapter recognized Nakoski with a framed certificate for his contribution in saving the patient’s life. According to the American Heart Association, CPR administered immediately after cardiac arrest can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.

“I just happened to be the one there and I knew the training,” Nakoski said.

He was nervous up until the moment he saw the man lying on the ground, when the adrenaline subsided and his training took over.

“As soon as I arrived on the scene I was like, ‘Scott, I have to do this,’ ” Nakoski said.

Every employee at the Koko FitClub franchise is required to be trained in the use of CPR and AEDs. Owner Mark Koschny is a former firefighter and has been EMT certified since 1978. He thinks it’s important for everyone to know CPR, especially in an environment where people are physically exerting themselves.

Koschny is pleased that Nakoski’s training enabled him to make a difference outside the walls of the gym.

“I’m proud of Scott because he took action outside of our club for a stranger,” Koschny said.

Nakoski received his training during a single night’s class at Centre LifeLink EMS, time he says was well-spent.

“This was five hours of my life and it made quite a difference in someone else’s. I think that’s a fair trade,” Nakoski said

Centre LifeLink offers montly CPR classes, and those interested can contact Kent Knable at 237-8163 or kknable@centrelifelink.com.

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