Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trailside death inspires Tampa lawyer to bring CPR classes to work

USF medical student Aaron Block leads a recent CPR class at the Hillsborough County courthouse where Judge Paul Jeske, front, and lawyer Bill Sansone practice chest compressions on mannequins.

Courtesy of Sun Chen

USF medical student Aaron Block leads a recent CPR class at the Hillsborough County courthouse where Judge Paul Jeske, front, and lawyer Bill Sansone practice chest compressions on mannequins.

TAMPA

Last Friday, Bill Sansone finally took a CPR course. He wishes he'd done it sooner.

In August, the 40-year-old lawyer was hiking alone on a remote trail in the North Carolina mountains when a frantic hiker ran up to him, screaming for help. A man had collapsed on the trail and needed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

Sansone, armed only with what he remembered hearing in a radio interview about CPR, rushed to help others try and revive the man during the 45 minutes it took paramedics to arrive.

Unfortunately, the 35-year-old man died on the trail.

"You think, maybe if I'd had training the outcome may have been different," said Sansone.

He shared his story in an email to fellow employees at the State Attorney's Office in Tampa shortly after he returned from North Carolina, writing:

"I truly thought that we were going to save him that day. I looked at his face and tried to will him to wake up. Later, after he had passed, I asked him to forgive me, because I was not able to save him.''

In the email, Sansone offered to bring a CPR class to the office, and his colleagues agreed. With the support of Judge Paul Jeske of the 13th Judicial Circuit and State Attorney Mark Ober, he organized a series of training sessions for courthouse employees. The classes were coordinated by Aaron Block, a dual degree medical student in the colleges of medicine and public health at the University of South Florida. Block had heard about Sansone's experience from Jeske's son, a physician and recent USF grad.

Block works with USF's Center for Advanced Clinical Learning, which provides CPR and basic life support training for health professionals and the community. So many courthouse employees signed up, the center offered several classes on site.

"I think it's great that employees get to come on company time,'' Block said.

Last Friday's session brought together 16 courthouse employees with seven USF staffers, including two retired Tampa firefighters, and plenty of adult and infant mannequins. An American Heart Association video introduced each technique and Block offered more explanation and answered questions. The USF staffers and firefighters provided one-on-one assistance. The points repeatedly made were:

• You don't have to provide mouth-to-mouth breathing.

• Chest compressions — 100 a minute — are the most important part of CPR and they must be delivered with force.

"Those compressions are what keeps the person alive until the next link in the chain of survival arrives,'' Block explained.

For some, all of this was new. Jeske, 62, said he'd never learned CPR, but was inspired by Sansone's email.

Tony Julian, 53, an assistant state attorney in the juvenile division, learned CPR back in the '70s when he was a lifeguard.

"After reading Bill's email I would feel guilty if I didn't know what to do, since we had the opportunity to learn," he said, noting that a lot had changed about CPR since his lifeguard days.

His colleague Jareh Kelly, 36, was trained in CPR while in the military, but hasn't refreshed her skills since 2006. "You never know when you'll need it," she said.

And Winter Hartman, a 22-year-old legal secretary, took CPR in high school, but wanted to brush up for her next career. "I plan to one day become a deputy, so as much training as I can get the better," she said.

Sansone still thinks about Corwith Davis, the Louisiana man who died on that mountain trail. Davis' family has told him about the doctor who doubts anyone could have saved him from his massive heart attack. Sansone takes some comfort in that. But he takes even more in knowing that he and his colleagues will be better prepared for the next emergency.

Irene Maher can be reached at [email protected]

Ready to learn CPR?

To find out about individual or group instruction, contact the Center for Advanced Clinical Learning at USF at (813) 974-0694, the American Heart Association (heart.org) or the American Red Cross (redcross.org)

Trailside death inspires Tampa lawyer to bring CPR classes to work 11/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.