Deputy Alibozek helps save a life
The Deputy was making a rare Saturday visit to the gym. The woman was there to work out for the second time in her life.
But thanks to their few moments together, the woman now knows what it’s like to survive cardiac arrest, and Berkshire County Sheriff’s Deputy Lucas Alibozek knows that when the chips are down, your Sheriff’s training can kick in to save a life.
Deputy Alibozek had missed one of his regular mid-week workouts at Retro Fitness on Merrill Road, so he was making up for it with a Saturday visit on Sept. 12, 2009, “the first time I was there on a Saturday in 9 or 10 months,” he said.
Just a few minutes into his treadmill session, he heard a thud behind him, and turned to see the woman, fallen off her stationary bike and lying unconscious on the ground.
As other witnesses stood by, Deputy Alibozek leapt from his treadmill to check on the victim, who was not breathing and showed no pulse. After yelling for someone to call 911, “everything just came back to me,” Alibozek said. “You don’t know how you’ll react until you’re in the moment, but my training took over. Fight or flight. And it was time to fight.”
As he began to administer CPR with chest compressions, another witness (who had been certified only the week before) began rescue breathing. After three or four repetitions of CPR, and calling for the nearby AED (automated external defibrillator), Alibozek said the victim began breathing, but then stopped again. After three or four more repetitions of chest compressions, as Alibozek was about to administer the AED, the Pittsfield Fire Department paramedics arrived and took over.
The victim’s son, who witnessed the incident, called Alibozek a few days later to say his mother was recovering, but had three blocked coronary arteries. The doctors told him that without the immediate intervention, his mom had less than a 10% chance of survival.
“Major Peter Ochs (Training Officer) tells us, you’re bound to use this skill once in your life,” Alibozek said. “I hope this is my once, but now I know I’m prepared and how I’ll react.”