Athletic trainers, students honored for saving Fairborn baseball player’s life

The Fairborn Board of Education, Fairborn Fire Chief Dave Reichert and Mayor Paul Keller present Coach Bronson Marlett, trainers Jaci Combs and TJ Tillman and students Bailey Snapp and Andrew Yeary with awards Oct. 1 for saving Bennet Hart's life. Hart is in the black with curly hair. CONTRIBUTED
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The Fairborn Board of Education, Fairborn Fire Chief Dave Reichert and Mayor Paul Keller present Coach Bronson Marlett, trainers Jaci Combs and TJ Tillman and students Bailey Snapp and Andrew Yeary with awards Oct. 1 for saving Bennet Hart's life. Hart is in the black with curly hair. CONTRIBUTED

Two Fairborn athletic trainers, two students and a coach are being credited with saving the life of a Fairborn High School baseball player.

Freshman Fairborn baseball player Bennett Hart, who has a heart condition, was running bleachers near the Fairborn High School soccer field as part of the baseball team’s fall conditioning last month when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Students Bailey Snapp and Andrew Yeary ran to get help.

Jacie Combs and TJ Tillman, athletic trainers at the high school from Kettering Health Network, were called over quickly by baseball coach Bronson Marlett when the scare happened Sept. 17.

Combs said it was great to see Hart almost back to normal after collapsing.

“It really was their quick action that saved his life,” said Fairborn Superintendent Gene Lolli.

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Those five were honored at a Fairborn Board of Education meeting on Thursday by the school district and the athletic director.

“His family was deeply appreciative,” Lolli said.

On Sept. 17, Coach Marlett grabbed AED equipment near the track and everybody together worked to stabilize Hart. He was transported to Dayton Children’s and later transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he was able to recover. He is back in school now, Lolli said.

“Everybody did what they were supposed to do. It’s just an amazing story that turned out well,” Lolli said.

Fairborn Athletic Director Kevin Alexander, echoing Lolli, said everybody did what they were trained to do.

“If you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen,” Alexander said.

Alexander said Hart and his parents personally returned the AED to his office last week.

“To see him walking in here with the AED, that was just an awesome sight,” Alexander said.

Fairborn Fire Chief Dave Reichert and Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller were also at the board meeting to honor the trainers, students and coach. The school district presented the five with awards for their acts of service.

Tillman, one of the trainers who helped save Hart, said this shows every school should have an athletic trainer to handle something like this.