Off-duty NY FF saves college football fan in cardiac arrest

Firefighter Greg Popps was attending his first game at the Carrier Dome when he saw a fan slump over and jumped into action


By Patrick Lohmann
Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Fairmount firefighter watching Clemson play Syracuse at the Dome on Saturday noticed a fellow fan was losing consciousness in the middle of the second quarter.

So Greg Popps jumped into action, helping revive the man who was in cardiac arrest, according to the Fairmount Fire Department and a witness who captured video of the medical episode.

A Syracuse University fan went into cardiac arrest during yesterday's home game against Clemson.  (Photo/Tribune News Service)
A Syracuse University fan went into cardiac arrest during yesterday's home game against Clemson. (Photo/Tribune News Service)

“He fell asleep on his neighbor’s shoulder. He just sorta slumped over,” said witness Michael Cominolli, of the patient. “People started to realize that he was asleep.”

That’s when Popps, who was at his first-ever game at the Carrier Dome, ran down to the section where the man was and began trying to revive him. The patient was not breathing and had no pulse, Cominolli said Popps told him.

“Popps noted a nearby patron was losing consciousness and jumped to his aid,” according to the Fairmount Fire Department. “Shortly thereafter the patient went into cardiac arrest. While medical staff were arriving, President Popps dragged the unconscious male to a nearby hallway, initiating CPR.”

Video taken by Cominolli shows concerned onlookers and a flurry of activity around the patient, a middle-aged man. He was dragged by his arms into the hallway between seating areas, and Popps can be seen doing chest compressions.

Shortly afterward, the patient was taken to the hospital. He was conscious and breathing, with no apparent issues, according to the fire department and Cominolli.

“Everybody cheered after that,” Cominolli. “He was fully conscious when they took him out of the dome.”

Popps “humbly” declined to comment on his actions, according to a spokesperson at the department. Cominolli, who spoke with Popps shortly after performing CPR, said the life-saving efforts made him very emotional.

A spokeswoman for Syracuse University did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Fairmount spokesperson said the department does not know what happened to the patient after he was taken to the hospital.

 

This evening, 9 members and their families enjoyed the Syracuse vs Clemson football game at the station. Maintaining two...

Posted by Fairmount Fire Department on Saturday, September 14, 2019

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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