Gregg Schkade had only being planning to make pizzas at the Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser, but he ended up possibly saving a life.
On Saturday evening around 4:45 pm, a man participating in the event at in Hartland, collapsed from a heart attack. People immediately sprang into action, coming to the man’s aid and calling for help.
That is when Schkade, a deputy chief with Livingston County Fire and Dive team leader, stepped in. Schkade, who had been in the back of the building helping to make pizzas for the large event that saw a total of 700 bowlers, responded to the calls for help and started CPR.
Within minutes, the rest of Schkade's department, who had just returned from a structure fire, had arrived and the man was transported to the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor.
“Kids were just coming in, so that was a concern,” said Joyce Roberts, manager of Striking Lanes. “He (Gregg) responded to the call first and our concern, besides the man, was the kids seeing all of this.”
The children had started to arrive at the bowling alley for their two-hour time block for the fundraising event. Roberts said the children were ushered into the former restaurant which is connected to the Striking Lanes bowling alley, where they ate pizza until it was safe for them to return to the bowling lanes.
Roberts, however, is thankful that Schkade was on scene during the incident calling his actions heroic and praises all the firefighters involved with their quick response.
“I wouldn’t say I was the hero of the day,” Schkade said. “It was quite a group effort both by some of the patrons who were here and our department. It just happened that I was over here working when it occurred.”
Schkade, who is a 27-year veteran firefighter says being able to help, however, "feels good."
"Probably why I’ve been doing it for as long as I have," he said. "It’s a great feeling."
According to the last reports that Roberts received, the man who had the heart attack is doing well and recovering.