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Toledo firefighter teaches CPR at alma mater St. John's after saving ref's life

On Monday, St. John’s basketball players received training to potentially save a life from Toledo firefighter Myles Copeland.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo firefighter Myles Copeland became famous over the summer when he saved a referee’s life during a basketball game he was playing in. Now, he's trying to make sure others are prepared if they’re ever in that situation.

On Monday, he returned to his alma mater of St. John’s and spent the afternoon teaching the basketball team how they could potentially save a life by performing CPR.

“With my story and becoming a firefighter, I see the importance of CPR and how little people know about it,” Copeland said. “Being able to spread awareness through my story, connect back with my high school, it’s just something that’s important to me.”

Marquez Frazier, a senior at St. John’s, said learning the valuable skill was an important lesson.

“You never know what could happen at any time," Frazier said. "If there’s no one prepared in your group and you’re the prepared one, you could save someone’s life someday, so you never know.”

When Copeland hopped into action during a basketball game in New York and saved a referee’s life, it didn’t surprise St. John’s head coach Mike Schoen, who knew he wanted to get Copeland back on campus to teach his current students.

“His story is such an inspirational story,” Schoen said. “I thought it would be great for our guys to see one of our graduates give back and show the impact that you can have on people. His impact is literally someone’s life.”

Hopefully, none of the students will ever need the knowledge they gained Monday. But if they do, they'll be prepared.

“Having the knowledge of how to react in the situation of a cardiac arrest, it can give you some relief,” Copeland said. “And just keeping the heart beating until first responders get on scene and are able to do more intervention could potentially be life-saving.”

On Friday, St. John’s will host Springfield for a scrimmage. All proceeds from the game will help fund local CPR training.

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