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Old 07-14-2006, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default The Guys Who Savd Ben

'I'm just glad we could help him'

By Jill King Greenwood
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, July 14, 2006

If Ben Roethlisberger leads his team to another Super Bowl championship, Steelers fans everywhere will be able to thank four paramedics -- Danny, Brian, John and Scott.
The quarterback is crediting the four men from the Medic 14/Rescue 2 station, Downtown, with noticing a slit vein in his throat and sealing it off after his motorcycle collided with a car at an Uptown intersection on June 12.

"He kept asking us if he would ever play football again," Danny Capatolla, a paramedic with Rescue 2, said this morning at a news conference at the Pittsburgh Fire and Emergency Medical Services Training Center in the Strip District. "At that time we didn't know what he would or wouldn't be able to do again. But he kept asking that, and he asked if it was all a dream. We just told him he would be fine."

Privacy laws prohibit Capatolla and paramedic Scott Everitt of Rescue 2, along with Brian Markovich and John Archer, paramedics with Medic 14, from discussing how they treated Roethlisberger at the intersection of Second Avenue and the 10th Street Bridge before taking him to Mercy Hospital, Uptown.

Roethlisberger wasn't wearing a helmet when a car driven by Martha Fleishman, 62, of Squirrel Hill, turned in front of his Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle. The quarterback crashed into the passenger side of Fleishman's Chrysler New Yorker. His shoulder smashed into the windshield, and he tumbled over the roof of the car before landing on the pavement.

Capatolla said when he and the other paramedics arrived at what was dispatched as "a motorcycle accident with a man lying in the road," the 23-year veteran paramedic immediately knew who the victim was.

"I recognized him," Capatolla said. "I told the rest of the crew who it was. Then we got to work."

In less than nine minutes, the paramedics cleared Roethlisberger's airway, mobilized him on a backboard and transported him to Mercy Hospital.

"It went so smooth," Capatolla said.

In his first interview since the accident, Roethlisberger told ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Wednesday that doctors told him he likely would have died if the medics hadn't acted quickly.

"They told me that I was literally seconds, maybe a minute, away from dying because I slit a vein or artery in my mouth or my throat and it was draining blood right into my stomach -- and luckily the paramedic noticed it and stopped it, or else I would have had too much blood in my stomach," he said while visiting Los Angeles for the taping of the ESPY Awards.

While his family waited at the hospital during seven hours of surgery to repair his broken jaw and other facial injuries, a doctor told them how close the quarterback came to death, Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger's agent, said Thursday.

"They told us that his stomach was filling up with blood and he was basically drowning in his own blood," Tollner said. "They had to pump his stomach and clear his airway.

"But if the paramedics hadn't noticed that, he might not have made it. They and the doctors were incredible, and Ben is just so grateful for all they did for him."

Roethlisberger said in a telephone interview yesterday that he has thanked the doctors at Mercy but hasn't had a chance to track down the paramedics who saved him.

"Not outside of sending them thank-you cards and gift baskets and stuff like that. I've spent a lot of time around all the doctors, but the paramedics, no, I haven't. But I do look forward to trying to get in touch with them and really thanking them," Roethlisberger said.

He also said that he hasn't talked to Fleishman.

"I have not had a chance to talk to her. I don't hold any grudges. I'm not blaming her, but no contact has been made," Roethlisberger said.

Police cited Fleishman for failing to yield to oncoming traffic and Roethlisberger for driving without a valid motorcycle permit and for not wearing a helmet.

"I did not know the law of not wearing a helmet. I did not know that my permit had expired. If I had known that, obviously I would not have broken the law. That's where, obviously, I was at fault, and I apologize for that," Roethlisberger said.

Jeff Vesci, president of the Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics, Local 1, said his four colleagues deserve praise for their actions.

"They're heroes," Vesci said. "The bottom line is, they saved his life."

Though they appreciate Roethlisberger's gratitude, Capatolla said coming to Roethlisberger's aid was just part of the job.

"We didn't do anything for him that we wouldn't have done for any other person in this city," said the 23-year veteran paramedic. "That's what we're trained to do. But it's nice to hear it when someone appreciates it."
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Guys Who Savd Ben

Think they will build statues of these guys outside of heinz field?
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Guys Who Savd Ben

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Think they will build statues of these guys outside of heinz field?

Nope,...these guys would have helped whoever was hurt..regardless of race, color or economic level...as a person who works with these type of people everyday..I have a lot of appreciation for what they do and how they do it without thought of any rewards.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:43 PM   #4
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Nope,...these guys would have helped whoever was hurt..regardless of race, color or economic level...as a person who works with these type of people everyday..I have a lot of appreciation for what they do and how they do it without thought of any rewards.
There was nothing but sarcasm in my post. I'm just glad they did what they did
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Guys Who Savd Ben

i say at least give em tickets for a game, maybe pregame passes or something, shit at least sign a shirt or something
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Guys Who Savd Ben

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Nope,...these guys would have helped whoever was hurt..regardless of race, color or economic level...as a person who works with these type of people everyday..I have a lot of appreciation for what they do and how they do it without thought of any rewards.
Well said...many props to these guys for the work they do every day
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Guys Who Savd Ben

The Guys who saved his life erect a statue in their honor outside Gate A.
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Old 07-14-2006, 03:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Guys Who Savd Ben

As a fellow paramedic I appreciate this article......we are often overlooked and stay in the shadows of firefighters and Drs......we are the ones in the back of that rig keeping you alive with all that we have......nice article.....and Good job to the 4 heroes
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:15 PM   #9
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As a fellow paramedic I appreciate this article......we are often overlooked and stay in the shadows of firefighters and Drs......we are the ones in the back of that rig keeping you alive with all that we have......nice article.....and Good job to the 4 heroes
Mojo to you for all that you do!!!
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCuz64Furness
As a fellow paramedic I appreciate this article......we are often overlooked and stay in the shadows of firefighters and Drs......we are the ones in the back of that rig keeping you alive with all that we have......nice article.....and Good job to the 4 heroes

Thank you!
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