Friday, August 8, 2003 12:00 AM
Turfway Park security officer saves Erlanger man after heart attack
FLORENCE, KY . . . August 8, 2003 . . . The City of Florence declared August 5, 2003, “Bill Howard Day” in recognition of Howard’s life-saving response when a patron of Turfway Park suffered an apparent heart attack at the track on July 18. Florence mayor Diane E. Whalen read the proclamation and presented Howard, Turfway Park’s lead security officer, with a plaque at the council’s August 5 meeting.
Marcus Williams, 45, a resident of Erlanger, Kentucky, collapsed on the first floor of the Turfway Park facility shortly before 2:00 p.m. on July 18. Howard performed CPR and used the track’s portable defibrillator to resuscitate the stricken Williams as paramedics were making their way to the racetrack.
In his letter to the Florence City Council, Director of Sales and Marketing Brian Gardner said, “[Mr. Williams] . . . was revived from a zero heart rate condition. There is no question that without the responsiveness and preparedness of Mr. Howard the patron would not have survived. [Mr. Williams] has since returned to Turfway Park to thank Bill and our staff for quite literally saving his life.”
Responding to the proclamation, Howard said, “It was a team effort and I credit my fellow employees and our management staff. Everybody pitched in. Hopefully we’ll never have another incident like that, but we’re prepared if we do.”
Turfway Park purchased the portable defibrillator and began training track employees in its use about one year ago.
A Vietnam veteran, Howard was hired by Turfway Park in 1991. Before joining the track’s security team, he spent 17 years with the Independence, Kentucky, police force, where he attained the rank of captain. Howard is a native of Northern Kentucky and lives in Crittenden with his wife, Carol.