News

Parksville four honoured for life-saving actions

RDN employees Charles Stockland, Mike Chestnut, John Marcellus and Clayton Bannatyne (from left) received Vital Links Awards for helping save the lives of Wayne Randall, Bernie Diakow and Walter Clark. - Brenda Gough
RDN employees Charles Stockland, Mike Chestnut, John Marcellus and Clayton Bannatyne (from left) received Vital Links Awards for helping save the lives of Wayne Randall, Bernie Diakow and Walter Clark.
— image credit: Brenda Gough

PARKSVILLE - Four Oceanside Place employees were honoured with Vital Link awards by BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) paramedics on Feb. 28, for saving the life of Parksville Golden Oldies hockey player Bernie Diakow.

“We were having a rare staff meeting when we heard that Bernie had collapsed,” said Regional District of Nanaimo employee Mike Chestnut. “We rushed to Bernie and he was grey with no vital signs. It was our first time using the defibrillator kit. We checked his airway, did chest compressions and the AED [automated external defibrillator] told us to give him one shock. We did everything we could to keep him alive. It was a long and intense 10 minutes before his colour started to come back.”

Diakow was not only the first person to receive shocks from the AED — he also launched the fundraising campaign to buy the equipment for the Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association (PGOSA). He was resuscitated on Sept. 21, 2011, and since then, these four employees have performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on two more players in the 70-plus league.

“We jokingly call the ambulance the ‘PGOSA taxi,’” said Diakow’s wife, Bernice. “He’s the oldest at 81, but with so many older players on the team, staff at the arena is pretty busy. Bernie’s had three operations since it happened, and he’d love to get back on the ice and play. The other players who were treated are fine now.”

Vital Link Awards were presented to Mike Chestnut, Charles Stockand, John Marcellus and Clayton Bannatyne, all employees of the Regional District of Nanaimo. The awards were presented at a ceremony at Oceanside Place hockey arena in Parksville on Tues., Feb. 28, 2012.

— from the BC Ambulance Service. Read more in Friday's print edition of The News.

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