MONTVALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A recent graduate of Pascack Hills High School who was visiting his old school Wednesday helped revive a student who collapsed at track practice.
As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, Mike Vercellone was a member of the high school track team until he graduated last spring. He was back on campus Wednesday to help out a practice while on spring break from Rutgers.
Vercellone has been an EMT since he was 16, but said saving someone’s life with CPR is new for him.
“The strangest part was that I’ve never actually done the compression portions before,” Vercellone told Haskell. “I’m still kind of shaken up by it.”
A former teammate collapsed at track practice and Vercellone, 19, helped revive him.
“I almost didn’t go to practice but I was definitely glad I did. Definitely a good choice for me to go,” Vercellone told Haskell. “It’s something that I feel like I was supposed to do and that I kinda had to do. I mean, I was definitely glad I did it but it’s not something that like I feel weird when people are thanking me.”
He’s a member of ROTC at Rutgers and said he’s always pitched in to help others.
“I think it’s very rewarding, you get a lot out of it. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and that’s what I always want to do,” Vercellone told Haskell.
Around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the 17-year-old boy was taking part in track practice behind Pascack Hills High School when he collapsed.
Vercellone performed CPR while a coach rushed to the field with a defibrillator.
The combined efforts brought back a strong pulse.
Pascack Hills high is ahead of schedule in meeting Janet’s Law. By September, all New Jersey schools will be required to have defibrillators within range during student athletic practices and events.
The law is named after Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old who died in 2006 shortly after cheerleading practice.
The boy has not been identified. He was breathing on his own when he was taken to The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
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