Senate Finance Committee Chairman Eric LaFleur, who is a key figure in trying to resolve Louisiana’s budget crisis, dove into a different sort of emergency on Monday.
LaFleur and his lunch companion administered CPR, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, when a Senate sergeant-at-arms collapsed outside of the Ville Platte lawmaker’s State Capitol office around noon.
“I was leaving the office to have lunch and the man was on the floor and he wasn’t responsive and he wasn’t breathing,” he said.
“I think we felt a pulse but he wasn’t breathing,” LaFleur said. “”So we did CPR, two cycles, three cycles of compression and two rounds of air.
“So we did them and he started to breathe,” he said. “He kind of coughed. It worked.”
The Senate employee was identified as Gerald Sparacino.
John Keller, chief sergeant-at-arms for the state Senate, said late Monday afternoon that Sparacino, who is believed to be in his 70s. was being held overnight for observation at a Baton Rouge hospital.
LaFleur, whose wife is a physician’s assistant, said CPR has been a topic at the dinner table.
“Because they even do that at the hospital,” he said.
“I had training as a volunteer fireman in Ville Platte but that was a long, long time ago.”
The episode was first reported by The Associated Press.