Toledo Basketball Player Saves Ref’s Life During Game

June 15, 2022 / BasketballPlayer Safety
An off-duty Ohio firefighter’s instincts kicked in to save a life while playing in a men’s league basketball game over the weekend.

Myles Copeland is a firefighter for the Toledo (OH) Fire and Rescue Department and found himself in New York playing in a basketball tournament with his Glass City Basketball Club. When one of the referees collapsed on the court, Copeland quickly sprang into action.

toledoA recent report from spoke with Copeland, and those on the scene, to see how the Toledo firefighter saved the referee’s life.

Below is an excerpt from that story.

David Magley is the president of the basketball league and he witnessed the whole thing.

“He was leaving us, he was changing colors, his breathing was just about out,” said Magley. “Then Myles comes sprinting off the court and he starts pumping on his chest, and I’m looking up thinking who’s this guy, where’d he come from? And then I noticed he had a uniform on and I realized this was one of our players. Myles said, ‘It’s okay, I’m a fireman.’”

“I assessed the situation, trying to see what I could do to fix the problem,” said Copeland. “He didn’t have a pulse, he wasn’t breathing so I instantly started CPR, what I was trained to do.”

Copeland worked on him for over 10 minutes and saved his life. By the time the referee was being wheeled away on a stretcher, he was alert and talking.

“It was just kind of divine timing that I was there in the right place at the right time,” said Copeland.

And witnesses say the whole thing was nothing short of a miracle.

“We would later learn that one percent of the people that get that live. If he was home, he would have died. His wife doesn’t know CPR, there’s no way she could have kept him alive. It took 25 minutes for the people to get there,” said Magley.

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The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department and Magley say they are so proud of Copeland.

“He was calm, he’s everything that’s good about our players, he’s everything that’s good about society,” said Magley.

To read the full story from, click here