Planet Fitness Staff, Bystander Credited with Saving Man’s Life After Collapse at Gym
NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. (WTAE) — Three Planet Fitness employees and a bystander are credited with saving the life of a 49-year-old man, who collapsed at the gym on Tuesday night.
Dale Wunderley is recovering at Forbes Hospital after suffering a cardiac event around 8 p.m. He expects to be released from the hospital this week.
Wunderley said he had finished using a leg press when he collapsed.
“After that, I remember waking up here,” Wunderley said.
Planet Fitness employee Cory Henderson wasn’t working at the time but was exercising with a friend. They noticed Wunderley lying on the ground. Other gym members ran to the front to tell desk staff that a man had collapsed.
“I don’t think I really had time to be nervous, because I just reacted to the whole thing going on,” employee Jake Donaldson said. “I immediately ran and got the (automated external defibrillator).”
Donaldson said he grabbed scissors and cut Wunderley’s shirt off so Henderson’s friend could begin chest compressions. Donaldson and Henderson started the AED machine while employee Ian Pearsol called 911.
Pearsol and Donaldson have worked at the gym for three and two months, respectively. Henderson has worked there for almost two years. The gym’s general manager mandates that all employees undergo CPR and AED training with North Huntingdon Emergency Medical Service. It’s the second time this year employees were able to work with gym members to save the life of another person.
“I’m very proud of myself, my coworkers and all the members at Planet Fitness,” Pearsol said.
North Huntingdon EMS Deputy Director Jake Tirpak said the agency has trained employees at about 10 businesses in the township. They offer CPR and AED training for members of the public on one Wednesday a month at their building on Center Highway. The cost is $25, and the class lasts about 3 hours. The December session will take place at 6 p.m. on Dec. 14.
“I can’t say how important learning CPR is for the community, for bystanders to learn this,” Tirpak said. “It’s not all the time that first responders happen to be at a facility like this.”
“That’s why I’m here in the first place — to do something about my health,” Wunderley said. “It’s nice to have someone there when you need it.”