Lifesavers Recognized for their Efforts

It's no surprise ESPN is already in town for the big showdown between Florida and Florida State, but the return to Tallahassee holds great significance for employees of the sports network as well as members of FSU's Police Department.

ESPN crews are already gearing up for Saturday's Florida/Florida State game, but last month, one day before the Virginia Cavaliers came to town, ESPN employees were shocked when one of their own fell to the ground.

Stephen Ackels, ESPN Associate Producer, says, “From that call box right over there they called the FSU Police Department and they came within two minutes.”

OFC Garrett Williams says, “We did what we were trained to do; grabbed our AED, hooked it up to him and the gave him CPR and we could see him coming around at that time.”

ESPN video engineer Al Taylor had collapsed from cardiac arrest. Friday FSU police and an ESPN employee were given “heart saver awards” by the American Heart Association, but the biggest thank you came from Al Taylor.

“I have not enough ways to say thank you,” says Al.

The American Heart Association says 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die. However, with the use of Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, there is a 70 to 80 percent chance of survival if used within the first three minutes. Extended Web Coverage

History of Defibrillation

  • 1956 - First published reports of external defibrillation.
  • 1962 - Controversy over benefits of DC vs. AC defibrillation.
  • 1964 - Development of synchronizing defibrillation to EKG cycle.
  • 1970 - Importance of early defibrillation first published.
  • 1972 - Defibrillators using solid state technology developed.
  • 1986 - Firefighters with basic training begin using AEDs.


  • At present, for each 100 patients that arrive in the ER in cardiac arrest and have been treated with CPR alone: 95 die, 2-3 survive a few days, and 1-2 have a chance of full recovery.

  • CPR works well on patients who have a primary breathing problem.

  • CPR alone doesn't work well on victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

  • For each minute elapsed after collapse, there is a 10 percent decrease in the chance of successful defibrillation.

  • Many 911 EMS systems can't get to the victim in less than 10 minutes.

  • Early defibrillation is the key to saving a cardiac arrest victim.

  • Early defibrillation can lead to total recovery and a normal life.

  • After 10 minutes have passed - it's too late.

  • In the U.S., approximately 350,000 people die each year from heart disease - many of these people collapse unexpectedly.

  • Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) - collapsing unexpectedly - can happen from an electrical current in the heart "going haywire."

  • Many times, these victims are not having a heart attack.

  • These victims need a lifesaving pulse of electricity called "defibrillation" to restart their heart - and can go on normally.

  • AEDs cannot save all victims of SCA, but when an AED is successful, the result can be dramatic return to a normal life.

    Source: contributed to this report