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Heroes jump into action when athletic director collapses

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: May 07 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 08 2013 10:08:17 PM CDT

Heroes jump into action when athletic director collapses

HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. -

After taking the field and winning the division title, the Conrad Weiser baseball team and their fans were facing even higher stakes in the stands. Their athletic director was suffering from cardiac arrest.

The Conrad Weiser Scouts are back practicing. Many athletes may feel like they face situations which are do or die. But Monday night, the baseball team and fans were fighting for someone's life.

The team had wrapped up the game. Afterwards there was the senior ceremony with team pictures.

"Next thing we know we hear someone yelling and then we hear a collapse on the bleachers," said Kieffer Pannebaker, the left fielder.

"One of the first things I did when I heard 911 was to yell does anyone know CPR," said Dr. Robyn Ganser.

Dr. Ganser's son Connor is the center fielder. Sergeant Jeff Doelp's son is also on the team.

"As soon as we lost the pulse he was doing compressions and he did compressions. I don't know how long," said Ganser, who was also helping resuscitate, "I kept asking him are you tired because there were people behind us ready to jump in."

Russ Kline the athletic director was in cardiac arrest and the trainer wasn't nearby.

"He wasn't down there. No one had his phone number," said Pannebaker, "So, they said go run up to the trainer."

The left fielder Kieffer Pannebaker and 2nd baseman Alex Doelp had to run from this field all the way back to the school and it wasn't close.

"It's a far run," said Pannebaker, "It's really far."

"I don't know how long it was, but when you are waiting for that kind of help it seems like it's forever," said Doelp.

"He was blue, really blue," said Jim Young, the trainer.

Young arrived and the ambulance was close behind.

"He said, 'Did you shock him," I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'You probably saved his life,'" said Young.

Young said Kline was speaking in the ambulance. Doelp saw Kline at the hospital.

"I walked into the emergency room and saw him sitting in the bed all his color was back," said Doelp, "He gave me a thumbs up. I gave him thumbs up. I couldn't believe it."

"I want to see him again because I want to get the image of the last time I saw him out of my mind," said Ganser, "I want to see him again, doing well."

He is thanks to his team of heroes.

Over and over again the hereos said how unusual it was to have a senior night ceremony after a game and they're glad Russ Kline wasn't alone.