US Capitol Police hockey team goalie suffers heart attack, saved at rink

WASHINGTON — If you’re going to have a heart attack, the best place to have one is probably in a hospital. The next best place might be wherever a group of firefighters and paramedics are hanging out. That’s what a St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputy did Friday night, and it proved to save his life.

DC Fire and EMS outside Washington Adventist Hospita
D.C. Fire and EMS personnel speak outside of Washington Adventist Hospital on Saturday, April 8, 2017. They came to the hospital to visit David Corcoran, a goalie for the U.S. Capitol Police hockey team who suffered a heart attack during a game. (WTOP/John Domen)

David Corcoran was playing goalie for the U.S. Capitol Police hockey team during a hockey tournament that raises money for the D.C. Burn Foundation. With the play happening at the other end of the rink, he collapsed and fell to the ice unconscious.

“They turned around, saw him down,” said Jordan Wiley, a firefighter and paramedic with D.C. Fire and EMS. “This was a goalie in the middle of the game. …. He dropped down, was having crushing chest pains.”

Wiley and others rushed on to the ice and started performing CPR. A staff member at the rink was able to get a defibrillator on to the ice, too. It took two shocks from the automated external defibrillator, but within minutes Corcoran was conscious and breathing again. He was even talking with the men who rescued him before an ambulance was able to arrive.

“That’s incredible,” said Wiley. “To be defibrillated two times and come around that quickly, where you’re actually talking after being in cardiac arrest, is almost unheard of.”

On Saturday, Wiley and other hockey players who were at the scene visited Corcoran at Washington Adventist Hospital. They presented him with a D.C. Fire and EMS hockey jersey and a challenge coin.

“He’s all smiles,” said Wiley. “He couldn’t thank us enough, even though we were just doing what we’ve been trained to do. You know, we don’t feel extra special or anything today. We were glad to be there and help this gentleman in a time of need.

“Luckily, there were bystanders and responders who knew what to do.”

A full recovery is expected, and Wiley said Corcoran told them he plans to get back on the ice at some point, too.

“We’re looking forward to having him back on the ice next year, hopefully.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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