Gainesville Staff, Members Praised for Saving Policeman’s Life

Staff and members at Gainesville Health and Fitness Center (GHFC) saved the life of the second in command at Gainesville (FL) Police Department last month.

Police Maj. Rick Hanna collapsed while working out Jan. 22 at GHFC and suffered what his wife said was a sudden death cardiac event, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Hanna fell off a stair stepper shortly after noon that day. CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) were used on Hanna until paramedics arrived. Hanna was taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center.

GHFC supervisor Patrick Noyes, employees David Mitchell and Kristine Anderson, and members Jill Carr, Henri Belleville and Mia Belleville all are credited in saving Hanna’s life. Hanna’s wife, Marlene Hanna, the executive assistant to Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, and Darnell herself praised the staff.

“According to physicians, his survival is a direct result of the individuals involved,” Darnell wrote in a letter to GHFC owner Joe Cirulli. “I want to add my formal expression of appreciation for the response in this particular incident. Also, for your foresight to predict, prepare and plan for just such an event by providing the needed emergency equipment and training.”

In addition to the GHFC staff and members, the Hanna family also thanked the doctors, nurses, fire-rescue staff and city and county law enforcement officials who stayed with Rick Hanna and his family.

“The doctors and fire-response staff credit this ‘miracle’ recovery to the training and equipment at the gym,” Marlene Hanna wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper. “Had Rick been any other place when his heart stopped, he would not likely be around to tell about it.”

Hanna, who has been at the police department since 1981 and was promoted to the rank of major in 2008, has returned home from the hospital. Gainesville Chief of Police Tony Jones is expected to hold a news conference next Thursday at GHFC to thank the staff and members.

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