Award recipients and the spectator they saved with CATA President Dr. Jason Bennett. From left to right: Christina Scherr, Nicole Pfutzenreuter, Nicole Shimotake, Bill Parkhurst, Robbie Bowers and Dr. Jason Bennett.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Rancho Bernardo High’s Head Athletic Trainer Robbie Bowers, Assistant AT Nicole Pfutzenreuter, SDSU AT Student Nicole Shimotake and Westview AT Christina Scherr saved the life of a spectator at a basketball game at Ranch Bernardo High School.

Earlier in the day, Bowers reviewed Rancho Bernardo High’s emergency protocols with his athletic training staff in anticipation of the basketball game scheduled for later that day. A common practice, the review ensures the ATs are ready if a catastrophic event occurs and they have to jump into action.

As the staff watched the game from the sidelines, a commotion erupted from the bleachers. A spectator – Rancho Bernardo resident Bill Parkhurst – was experiencing cardiac arrest.

“My staff and I immediately ran to Parkhurst to assess the situation,” said Bowers. “After determining he wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse, I started chest compressions while Christina Scherr and Nicole Shimotake prepped his chest for defibrillation and controlled bystanders. Nicole Pfutzenreuter coordinated other staff members’ responsibilities and directed EMS access to the facility.”

Following the delivery of a single AED shock, Parkhurst’s heart began beating and he regained consciousness. Today, he is doing well and credits the athletic trainers with saving his life.

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