Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin 16-year-old performs CPR, revives tourist

Max Kitchener, 16, was working at Olde Bay Cafe & Fish Market when he learned of the emergency.


Max Kitchener, 16, was working at Olde Bay Cafe & Fish Market when he learned of the emergency.

DUNEDIN — Max Kitchener, a 16-year-old line cook at a seafood restaurant, was cutting up tuna Wednesday evening when a tourist collapsed in the street outside the business.

Luckily, Kitchener knows CPR. He learned it at Dunedin High School, where he's a junior.

Of course, practicing CPR on a plastic dummy and doing it in real life are two different things. But Kitchener kept his cool when the emergency unfolded outside Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market at the Dunedin Marina.

"I was portioning tuna when a guy came in and told me, 'Call 911, someone's having a heart attack,' " Kitchener recalled. "I told my boss, 'I need to go see if I can help.' "

His boss elaborated:

"Max came and asked permission," said Jane Wickman, wife of the restaurant's owner. "He said, 'Someone's having a heart attack. Is it okay if I leave the line?' We thought he was joking, but he said, 'No, I'm being serious.' "

Kitchener ran outside to help the man, who had collapsed on the pavement near the intersection of Main Street and Victoria Drive.

Another bystander, Dawn Britner-Hild, checked the fallen man's vital signs. She said he had no pulse, and he wasn't breathing.

Kitchener did what he had been taught: 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths, then 30 more compressions and two more rescue breaths. Finally, he did 15 more compressions until the man started to regain consciousness.

Britner-Hild, who's an advertising representative for the Tampa Bay Times, felt the man's pulse return. "I saw the light come back in his eyes," she said.

A small crowd had gathered to watch, keeping a respectful distance. Someone nearby was talking about getting a defibrillator when the woozy man said, "Don't shock me," according to Kitchener.

The tourist was part of a group from Massachusetts shopping at the marina, Britner-Hild learned. By the time paramedics arrived minutes later, the man was cracking jokes. "I'll do anything for attention," he told his rescuers.

The man's name wasn't available. Dunedin Fire Rescue couldn't release much information about the incident due to medical privacy laws. Division Chief Bill McElligott could only say the man didn't have a heart attack, and he was taken by ambulance to Mease Dunedin Hospital.

Kitchener, a polite and soft-spoken teen with braces, learned life-saving skills through the Academy of Architectural Design and Building Technologies, a career academy at Dunedin High. Before students can begin using the academy's tools, they're required to learn safety techniques such as first aid and CPR.

Kitchener has held an after-school job at Olde Bay Cafe since November.

As he saved the man, he didn't have time to think about what was happening until the paramedics had taken over.

"During, it was all instinct," he said. "After, my hands were shaking when I realized what I had done."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4151.

Dunedin 16-year-old performs CPR, revives tourist 03/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Computer coding, guidance counseling, career planning and more


    SESSION STARTERS: State Sen. Jeff Brandes refiles legislation to allow Florida high school students to swap computer coding for foreign language credits.

  2. Rays morning after: Offense showing some life



  3. Protectors of Confederate statue readied for a battle that never materialized

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Big Dixie flags were waving. County employees had erected a barrier around the Confederate soldier statue at Main and Broad streets. Roads and parking areas were blocked off. Uniformed local officers and federal law enforcement patrolled.

    Police tape and barricades surround the Confederate statue in Brooksville.
  4. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman


    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  5. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'


    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.