On Friday, July 7, Great Bend Chiefs baseball team members Logan Perry and Payton Mauler, along with Doug Kaiser, the father of another player, faced a medical emergency during a game. Because of their first aid training, they provided a downed umpire with assistance, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The incident involved umpire Eric Shannon who had a heart attack and collapsed. Although Shannon later died, the efforts of these three gave him a chance until emergency personnel arrived.
“This is one of the things that we as a commission like to honor,” said commission Chairman Jennifer Schartz, as the commission approved a proclamation recognizing their efforts. “Although the outcome wasn’t what they had hoped, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. We are very proud of you.”
As the three were recognized, fellow teammates and coaches from the American Legion squad were in the audience showing support.
Schartz, who also serves as public information officer for Unified School District 428, said the district gave hands-only CPR training to all Great Bend High School students last year. “That’s 900 warriors in our community.”
Hands-only CPR utilizes chest compressions only with no mouth contact to breath into the victim. Since the human body has four to six minutes of oxygen, the key is to just keep the heart beating until help arrives.
According to the proclamation, “persons of all ages should be encouraged to know first aid.” In a situation where many adults would have been hard-pressed to intervene, these three, including two students, remained calm and helped.
The game at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson was stopped about 1:30 p.m. with three outs left when Shannon fell in 97-degree heat index weather. Shannon, the father of two children, died later that day from his medical condition.
The Chiefs were trailing the Hays Monarchs 1-0 at the time, but opted not to complete the game, taking the loss. In addition, the Chiefs opted not to play the remainder of the games in the tournament.
Both Perry and Mauler graduated from GBHS this past May.