Casino staff honored for lifesaving effort


STANDISH — Staff members of the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino were honored Wednesday, March 14 after their quick thinking and medical training saved a guest’s life.

The six security and maintenance personnel — Doug Conrad, Christine Cousineau, David Hooper, Mike Peruski, Greg Peterson, and Mike Robinson ¬— were given certificates of recognition by members of Mobile Medical Response in a short ceremony at the casino.

A casino guest went into cardiac arrest in early February, according to MMR representative Lynn Schutter, and within seconds casino security staff were able to analyze and diagnose his condition.

The security personnel used an automated external defibrillator, or AED, to analyze the man’s heartbeat, and determined electric shock treatment would not be viable. They performed CPR on the man, stabilizing him until emergency response crews arrived on the scene.

Matt Holtcamp, MMR’s director of operations for Arenac County, praised the staff’s quick thinking and training, saying that often survival comes down to mere seconds.

“We’re not far from here, but being even 10 minutes away is too far away,” Holtcamp said at the ceremony. “So when you, the staff, can do something it helps.”

Holtcamp said after six minutes, the lack of blood flowing to the brain can result in permanent damage. By performing CPR, at least partial blood flow can be restored until emergency response personnel can arrive.

He said MMR staff are always happy to celebrate when a bystander can save someone’s life.

“We don’t get to do this very often, and we want to do it more,” Holtcamp added.

The six security personnel had taken part in MMR training, and three additional MMR continuing training sessions to keep their skills sharp, according to Holtcamp.

He added MMR puts on these training sessions for free, often with fire department personnel, but it was important for casino staff to be trained given the concentration of people there.

Frank Cloutier, spokesman for the Saginaw-Chippewa Tribe, said when the casino began hiring back in 2007, it intentionally sought out people who had been cross-trained in medical response, believing they could help pass along that education to other staff members.

“It was a good decision back then, and it paid off,” Cloutier said.



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