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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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Portable defibrillator resuscitates Pascack Hills track athlete, 15

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

UPDATE: A 15-year-old boy collapsed during track practice and was resuscitated at the Pascack Hills High School athletic field in Montvale this afternoon.

After a former student who’s an EMT couldn’t revive the boy, school athletic trainer Steve Papa came running with a portable defibrillator.

The shock from the device, along with continued CPR, brought young Anthony Cortazzo back.

“Everything worked the way it was supposed to.Montvale Lt. Bruce Piatt told told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “When they left here, he was breathing.”

Tri-Boro Ambulance took him to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, with a police escort, following the incident just after 3:30 p.m.

“I’m hoping he comes in here a few days from now, a week from now, and I get to shake his hand as he walks through the door. Maybe even give him a little hug too,” Papa told ABC-7 . “I don’t know if there was an angel on his shoulder, but everything that needed to happen right for him, did.”

School officials said they’ve had automated external defibrillators (AED) on site during scheduled athletic events and practices since 2007. Under Janet’s Law, all schools in the state must have defibrillators within range during student athletic practices and events before September.

“I really think that this is a good example of when we have practices and the case where our staff, our coaching staff, is trained in CPR, we have a defibrillator on site, as well as making sure we have a certified trainer on site,” Schools Superintendent Eric Gundersen told CBS 2 . “In unfortunate circumstances like this, we’re able to respond in a quick and efficient manner.”

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