Well-respected Arizona Interscholastic Association soccer official Mike Chaison is in stable condition after suffering a heart arrhythmia during Tuesday’s boys soccer match between Salpointe and Sabino.
Chaison, the center official during the match, fell to the ground without warning during the match. A paramedic who was attending the match quickly left the stands to tend to Chaison.
Salpointe's trainer was assisting the paramedic. Salpointe had a defibrillator on site during the match, which the paramedic used.
When an ambulance arrived, Chaison was sitting up and talking, said the AIA’s Gary Whelchel, the state commissioner of officials. Chaison was taken to the University of Arizona Medical Center.
“The comment that I got (from an AIA area commissioner) was that Mike was very lucky that this happened at the place and time it happened, and that somebody was right there,” Whelchel said.
Chaison has been a soccer official for the AIA for 20-plus years and has worked state championship games in the past.
“Mike is a positive leader in the Tucson soccer community,” Whelchel said. “He teaches and mentors new officials.”
Last year, the AIA became just the second state high school association in the nation to implement an Emergency Action Plan during postseason games just in case a situation such as Tuesday’s live saving event occurs.
The AIA worked with the the Anyone Can Safe A Life program to make sure a defibrillator is at every school during playoff games. Salpointe, luckily, had its defibrillator at Tuesday’s regular season game.
Officials from Anyone Can Safe A Life program will be at Liberty High on Feb. 22 to give a presentation about its program. For more information on Anyone Can Safe A Life go here.
Tuesday’s Salpointe-Sabino game was postponed until Thursday.