Rivers Casino Resort Schenectady EMTs Honored for Reviving Man

Posted on: December 5, 2020, 11:23h. 

Last updated on: December 6, 2020, 11:52h.

Two Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were honored this week for saving a man at the New York state gaming property whose pulse had stopped.

The need for EMTs at casinos has increased
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady EMTs Melinda Cooper-Killenberger and Kyle Brownell (in front) were honored recently for reviving a man at the casino. (Image: Rivers Casino)

Officers Melinda “Mindy” Cooper-Killenberger and Kyle Brownell were credited with saving the life of the unnamed casino visitor on Nov. 14.

The man had collapsed at the gaming property. The two EMTs discovered he had no pulse. They quickly performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

They also used a defibrillator. The life-saving duo then contacted the local fire department.

Their actions were recognized in a ceremony this week which included Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and Fire Chief Ray Senecal.

The mayor noted the man survived because of their prompt actions. His pulse was restored. Local paramedics then took over, and the man later received further medical treatment.

We’re extremely proud of the professionalism, skill, and dedication demonstrated by Officers Cooper-Killenberger and Brownell,” Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady General Manager Justin Moore was quoted by WTEN, a local TV station. “Both represent how deeply committed our team members are in ensuring our guest’s health, safety, and well-being.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled to see them recognized by Mayor McCarthy and Chief Senecal for their life-saving efforts.”

Casinos Increase Need for EMTs, Paramedics

The presence of a casino can lead to more demands for ambulance crews for local communities. For instance, West Springfield, Mass., received 11,936 emergency calls in the 12 months before MGM Springfield Casino opened in 2018.

But that number jumped to 13,789 calls in the first year after the casino began welcoming guests, an increase of 15.5 percent.

West Springfield city officials have applied to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) seeking funds to recover first responder costs.

EMTs also play a key role since earlier this year when casinos implemented health safeguards to block the spread of coronavirus. In May, Mason Van Houweling, CEO of University Medical Center, who is also chairman-elect of the Nevada Hospital Association, told the Nevada Gaming Control Board he recommended a screening protocol where EMTs evaluate for health risks.

If a casino visitor has an elevated temperature, the guest should be checked by an EMT for blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse, and fever.

In addition, the EMT should consult with a physician who is available through telemedicine services.

Las Vegas Casino Cardiac Arrests Studied

Earlier, in 1998, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported on emergency medical service response times in sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Las Vegas casino-hotels between January 1993 and June 1996.

It was found that 60 of the patients survived, which represented 29.3 percent of the service calls.

When there was a time period of four minutes between when the emergency service was contacted to when the patient was given a shock, the probability of survival was 36 percent, the study said.

The odds dropped by 5 percent for each minute. They then dropped to 19 percent after 23 minutes.

If ventricular fibrillation was applied, there was greater likelihood of increased survival, according to the study. The study was coauthored by Dr. Steven B Karch, a one-time medical director for the Las Vegas Department of Fire Services.