BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – 3 officers are being credited with saving the life of a man who collapsed from a heart attack last week inside the Broome County Office Building.

The incident took place on Wednesday June 8th when 58 year-old Gregory Shipman was visiting the 2nd floor finance department to pay his tax bill.

Broome County Sheriff’s Corrections Sergeant Matt Czebiniak happened to be nearby conducting some Sheriff’s Office business when he heard the commotion and leapt into action. Meanwhile, in the Broome Security headquarters on the first floor, Security Officer Tiffany Wheelock saw Czebiniak running on one of her surveillance monitors.

“So, I looked at the other camera to see what he was running towards and I saw somebody laying on the ground,” said Wheelock. “So, at that point, I got up and I yelled to everybody in the office. I said, ‘Somebody’s down on the ground. I’m responding to the second floor.'”

Czebiniak had found Shipman unresponsive with labored breathing and glazed over eyes so he started chest compressions.

Trained in CPR through his work, it was the first time he had used the procedure on his own.
Czebiniak says he knows the value of life saving measures first hand. Just 2 months ago, his 14 year-old son was saved by an automatic electronic defibrillator when he suffered cardiac arrest while at Vestal Middle School.

“It was definitely an experience to go through,” Czebiniak said. “It all goes through my head after the fact. While it’s happening, I’m not thinking about any of that but when I get in my car afterwards, I’m just thinking how grateful to have the training and to have AED’s available because they definitely save lives.”

Arriving shortly behind Officer Wheelock was Broome Security Officer Brandon Sullivan with an AED. He got the device set up and when Czebiniak paused his compressions, he administered a shock. After about another minute and a half of CPR, Shipman came to. 30 seconds later, EMS arrived to take him to the hospital.

While the entire episode took about 4 minutes, it seemed like a lifetime to the officers.

“By the time he went down, and the Corrections Sergeant probably being about 20 feet away from him, It was about 10 seconds before he got down right next to the male,” said Sullivan. “It was about a minute before we got up there after her seeing it on the cameras. Two minutes into him collapsing, that’s when we shocked him and not long after that is when we brought him back. So, timing is everything in a situation like this. We just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar presented proclamations to all 3 officers today recognizing them for their life saving actions.

Meanwhile, Shipman had recovered enough later that day to call the county to make certain that his tax payment had been processed.