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Quick-Thinking Trainers Save Official Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest During High School Football Game

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Two athletic trainers rushed into action after someone went down during a football game over the weekend on Long Island. CBS2's Alice Gainer reports.

Video Transcript

NICK BRENNAN: Quick action by two athletic trainers help save a life during a football game.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And the person saved is usually helping others. CBS 2's Alice Gainer reports.

PHIL LONIGRO: Last memory was just, everything going black.

ALICE GAINER: On Saturday, while officiating a football game between East meadow and Farmingdale High Schools, Phil LoNigro collapsed on the field. I dressed for colder weather. I was bundled up a little bit. At the end of the first quarter, I felt really, really hot.

DAN DESIMONE: At one moment, there was a lot of screaming, calling for help.

ALICE GAINER: Athletic trainers from both teams and a doctor worked together once they realized he had stopped breathing and had no pulse.

- My first instinct was to run for the AED.

DAN DESIMONE: We ripped off his shirt, cut the undershirt. I started doing compressions.

- The AED won't advise a shock unless the rhythm stops, so at a certain point, they said shock advised. Within less than a minute, he was-- he came to.

PHIL LONIGRO: Next thing I know, people were standing over me saying, are you're OK? You OK? I'm like, Yeah, I'm fine. Let me up. They like, no, you're not getting up.

ALICE GAINER: He was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital where he remains undergoing further testing.

PHIL LONIGRO: Today, I'm feeling pretty much OK, just my ribs hurt from the CPR.

ALICE GAINER: LoNigro is a formidable firefighter and has been for 40 years.

PHIL LONIGRO: Most of all, a EMT CC, which is EMT critical care. I use defibrillators all the time. I use monitors all the time. So you know, I know what they had to do.

ALICE GAINER: He saved about 10 people using them and can't believe he ended up on the other end of one. For the two trainers, this was their first time using one on someone.

DAN DESIMONE: It's one of those things that we train on an annual basis for.

- Just trust your instincts, and your training sets in.

ALICE GAINER: As the two football teams waited, another team worked together to save a life. A winning outcome for all. In Farmingdale, Long Island, Alice Gainer, "CBS 2 News".

KRISTINE JOHNSON: So fortunate. LoNigro says that doctors told him that he had low potassium and magnesium, which contributed to the cardiac arrest.

NICK BRENNAN: He had long since paid it forward, saved other lives.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: That's true. Yes.