'Time stopped': BOCES Athletic Coordinator’s Office saves a life

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  • From left: Doug Stahl, Heather Walsh, Chris Mayo, Amanda York, and Dan Morse (Photo provided)

“This a great example of why they teach coaches CPR. You never know when or if you will need it.”
Dan Morse

— The out-of-towner had truly been at the right place at the right time.

A Dutchess County baseball official had just arrived for a meeting Feb. 1 at the Orange-Ulster BOCES Athletic Coordinator’s Office in Goshen. He was about to sit down when he collapsed.

After hearing the crash, the entire office sprang to action. They knew just what to do.

Heather Walsh, Assistant Interscholastic Athletic Coordinator, called 911. Doug Stahl, Athletic Programs Assistant, ran to get the Goshen middle school nurse. Athletic Coordinator Chris Mayo relayed information from the 911 operator while Athletic Programs Assistants Dan Morse and Amanda York, who are both Red Cross Certified CPR/AED and First Aid instructors, administered CPR.

Morse did the chest compressions. York did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. They counted for each other. Collectively, they saved his life.

“It was a stroke of luck that this happened in our office where CPR/AED training is part of what we do, but there was more to it than luck," said Mayor. "It was amazing and professional work by Dan and Amanda."

The Athletic Coordinator’s Office, which is housed at the C.J .Hooker Middle School in Goshen, is part of a cooperative service offered to school districts by Orange-Ulster BOCES. This office serves the needs of the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA), the Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) and Section IX Athletic Council.

“I am so proud of the way Dan, Amanda and everyone in our Athletics office responded," said Deborah Heppes, OU BOCES Assistant Superintendent. "Without even having to think, they did what they were trained to do. They are responsible for this man being alive right now. It was exemplary leadership."

While it was only about a minute and a half from the time they began CPR until the time the man began breathing, York said, “Time stopped. You train for this, but you never think you will actually have to use it.”

Morse and York train hundreds of coaches every year in the 47 school districts Section 9 athletics covers.

“This a great example of why they teach coaches CPR," said Morse. "You never know when or if you will need it.”

In addition to providing training for coaches, some of the office’s other functions include scheduling interscholastic athletics, scheduling and paying officials, conducting championship contests, maintaining a website for athletic scheduling, and mentoring athletic directors.

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