July 22, 2018
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COA students resuscitate instructor in Acadia

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A field trip Thursday into the park for College of the Atlantic students studying natural history turned into a refresher course on CPR when the class instructor suddenly took ill, according to rangers.

Scott Swann, 53, lecturer at COA, had taken a group of about 10 students to North Bubble Mountain, which overlooks Jordan Pond, for his natural history class when he had a “cardiac event” at around 1 p.m., according to park ranger supervisor Ed Pontbriand. Pontbriand did not identify Swann by name but members of the COA community confirmed his identity Friday.

Pontbriand said rangers were not sure if Swann suffered an actual heart attack, but did say he lost consciousness. Swann does have a cardiac history, Pontbriand added.

“Luckily, a few of the students had been trained in CPR,” the ranger said.

One student administered CPR after Swann passed out while another called 911 to report the incident. By the time rangers and paramedics arrived a few minutes later, Swann had regained consciousness and was breathing, Pontbriand said.

Rangers, volunteers with MDI Search & Rescue, and paramedics from Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor responded and, after stabilizing Swann, carried him in a litter back to the Park Loop Road parking lot about a mile-and-a-half away, Pontbriand said. From there, Swann was taken to MDI Hospital in Bar Harbor.

Bill Swain, spokesman for MDI Hospital, said Swann was treated there Thursday and then was transferred to another facility. Swain said he could not identify where Swann was taken for further treatment.

A spokesman at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor said Friday that Swann was at that hospital in good condition.

Donna Gold, spokeswoman for COA, on Friday credited students in the class with helping to save their instructor.

“Our students were amazing,” she said. “They did the right thing at the right time.”

Attempts Friday to identify and contact students who were with Swann during the incident were unsuccessful.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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