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Local man credits off-duty TFD lieutenant and hockey teammates for saving his life

Bruce Tronolone is back home after recovering in the hospital from a cardiac arrest. He is encouraging everyone to learn basic CPR skills.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Bruce Tronolone is back home and grateful to be alive, after spending nearly a week in the hospital while recovering from a cardiac arrest. Tronolone collapsed while playing hockey at the Sylvania TamOshanter on Sunday. 

"I lost my heartbeat for almost five minutes" explained Tronolone.

But thankfully Lieutenant Jim Schulty with Toledo fire happened to be nearby, along with others who knew how to handle the emergency. 

Teammates along with Lieutenant Schulty immediately started CPR, while others grabbed the nearby AED. Within about 5 minutes, Bruce was starting to become responsive.

"I just was concerned for our hockey friend there, as were his teammates! Like I said it was such a tremendous group effort!" said Lieutenant Schulty.

"I don't remember the event, but I remember being in the ER, really distressed really kind of holding on. I realized it wasn't good" said Tronolone.

While the situation had a positive ending, it's quickly becoming a shining example of why knowing CPR is so important. Lieutenant Schulty took control of the situation, but before he arrived, multiple other people on the ice knew what to do, and had already started CPR. Toledo Fire Chief Allison Armstrong said every minute CPR is not being performed when someone is unconscious, decreases their chances of survival.

"CPR is not being done, survivability decreases drastically by every minute that goes by" said Chief Armstrong.

"You know they prevented my heart from having major damage from being without a pulse for that period of time!" said Tronolone.

Tronolone and his entire family are incredibly grateful his teammates knew exactly what to do during the emergency, and that Lieutenant Schulty was in the right place at the right time.

"These guys will be connected to me for the rest of my life. So, it's just an amazing story and it's emotional! Because it was close you know it could have gone the other way" said Tronolone.

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