Planet Fitness Staff, Off-Duty Nurse Act To Save Man’s Life

Planet Fitness employee Ian Palmer
Planet Fitness Employee Ian Palmer (WBZ-TV)

WILMINGTON – A Planet Fitness employee is credited with saving the life of a gym member who suddenly collapsed on the floor in cardiac arrest Thursday morning.

The 60-year-old man was working out at the Wilmington gym when he fell to the floor, barely breathing and with little pulse.

Planet Fitness employee Ian Palmer sprang into action, grabbing the defibrillator and starting CPR on the man. Fortunately for Palmer, he had received company-mandated training.

“It was scary, very intimidating. I kind of blacked out, honestly, working fast. A lot of it I don’t even remember.”

It was his first real-life situation. By the time police officers and paramedics arrived, Palmer and an off-duty nurse had the defibrillator already hooked up and Wilmington Police Sgt. Chris Ahern knew how precious time was.

“If not for the defibrillator, the outcome would have been different. We were here in four minutes, but four minutes in a cardiac arrest is a long time.”

Ahern says this was an unusual situation since often in these types of emergencies people surrounding the victim freeze or are nervous to react. “To have someone providing first aid, rendering help and CPR and putting on the AED was a big part of the whole life-saving effort.”

The victim is now recovering at the hospital and Palmer says he was gratified to help. “If that was my family member, I would hope somebody else would act the same. That’s why I reacted the way I did.”