Mayor on the scene at Amgen TOC emergency

Constantine was first to respond to medical incident

“Old habits die hard,” said Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine, a retired firefighter, when asked why he rushed over to help a man suffering a medical emergency at the Amgen Tour of California finish line May 14.

Shortly after the last cyclists finished the TOC Stage 3 route outside the Outdoor Sports Center on Condit Road, an adult male spectator collapsed where he had been standing in the viewing area, according to another spectator who witnessed the incident. When others around him realized the man was suffering from medical distress, they began to yell for help.

Constantine was standing nearby, waiting to be interviewed by a TOC media crew, the mayor told the Times. He could hear the spectators yelling for help from where he was waiting, and he hurried over to see what was wrong.

Constantine, a San Jose Fire Department retiree and trained Emergency Medical Technician, started looking around for event medical staff or a paramedic in “a uniform,” he said. Not immediately seeing a uniformed medical professional in the area, Constantine jumped over a temporary barrier constructed by race officials to get to where the man had collapsed.

Constantine approached the man, who was lying on his back, and identified himself as an EMT for San Jose Fire, he said. The mayor started talking to the man, who was conscious, and his spouse. Constantine started asking the man questions to determine if he was aware of his surroundings—which he was—and to gather information on his medical history. The man told Constantine that he was feeling dizzy and nauseous.

“I started feeling for a pulse and couldn’t feel it, which is an indication that the blood pressure is (very low),” Constantine said. “That’s when I asked bystanders if they could hold his legs up” in an effort to gain more blood flow to the patient’s torso and head.

Moments after the good Samaritans lifted the man’s legs up, he began to feel better and his pulse returned, Constantine said.

Rich Constantine

By that time, event medical staff had arrived. Constantine briefed them on what he knew thus far and the uniformed paramedics took over. The paramedics showed up about two to three minutes after Constantine first contacted the man, he said.

“When I left, he was conscious and talking,” Constantine said. The mayor was quick to note that he was just one of several bystanders who helped.

CalFire Battalion Chief Jim Crawford, one of the emergency personnel on the scene of the May 14 medical call, said the man was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. He did not have an update on the patient’s condition or the cause of his illness as of May 15.

Crawford described the mayor’s response as “providing good Samaritan bystander support.”

“He did what we do,” Crawford added.

The Times has been unable to identify or contact the patient.

Leave your comments