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Green Meadows Worker Hailed as a Hero for Saving Golfer's Life

Eugene "Gene" Mitz Jr., fourth from left, receives a plaque from Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore and the Board of Commissioners. 
Just nine days after completing the District’s CPR and AED re-certification training, seasonal worker Eugene “Gene” Mitz Jr. saved a man’s life after he collapsed on Green Meadows Golf Course in Westmont June 10.

Mitz saw a golfer lying on the ground near the tee on the seventh hole and drove a golf cart to the man, who was with his wife. Mitz asked the golfer if he was OK and the man said he was suffering from back pain and intended to walk from the course. Mitz offered him a ride in the golf cart back to the pro shop.

During the ride, the man became unresponsive and slumped over in the passenger seat. Mitz tried to revive the golfer with water but quickly determined he had stopped breathing, so Mitz immediately began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions. He counted five rescue breaths followed by 10 compressions with his one free hand, while using his other hand to keep the golfer from falling out of the cart.

After about 30 seconds the golfer came to and Mitz continued on to the pro shop to summon additional help and call 911. Mitz sat the patron down in the pro shop, tried to cool him off and talked to keep him alert until paramedics arrived.

The golfer was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove for treatment and is expected to recover.

On Tuesday, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore and Commissioners praised Mitz for his heroic efforts and presented him with a plaque.

“On behalf of the Forest Preserve District’s Board of Commissioners and staff, I commend you for exercising good judgement and a willingness to extend your help to one of our patrons in need,” Cantore said. “Your life experience and leadership enabled you to put your training into action in a time of need.”

Before joining Green Meadows in 2015, Mitz was an assistant football coach at Benedictine University in Lisle, and he has served as an educator, assistant principal and athletic coach at various institutions throughout his career. 
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