Turning Life's Curveballs into Life-Saving Plays


Mark Cooler, Tampa Electric’s Distribution Design Technical Training Administrator, draws a compelling parallel between his passion for baseball and the daily challenges of life. With over 38 years at TECO, Mark believes in constant preparedness, explaining, “Just like the players in baseball, we must be prepared for all scenarios when we are in the field.”

This philosophy was put to the test during a drive to a job site in Tampa when Mark and his class came across a woman in distress by the roadside. Demonstrating quick thinking and a keen sense of responsibility, Mark immediately pulled over. He stepped in to administer CPR after assessing that the woman had a pulse but wasn't breathing. “As a trainer, CPR is one of the first three modules we cover in my class,” said Mark. “It was like riding a bike. The situation presented itself and I was prepared to do what I needed to do.”

After the first responders took over, Mark and his team resumed their journey. Despite that adrenaline-fueled moment, the significance of his actions resonated deeply. It was not about accolades or recognition, but about being prepared and willing to step up when needed most. For Mark, it was a reminder of the importance of constant vigilance and the value of being equipped with life-saving skills.

This wasn’t the first time Mark’s training had a direct impact. Years earlier, he saved his toddler daughter from choking on a french fry, a moment that reinforced the unpredictability of emergencies and the value of readiness.

Reflecting on the incident, Mark emphasized, “TECO has made me aware of all scenarios and to avoid thinking, ‘this could never happen to me.’ You just never know, so I encourage all of my loved ones to always be prepared.” Despite recognition for his recent heroic actions, Mark remains modest, insisting that true heroism is the selfless sacrifice of those who knowingly face danger, such as police and soldiers.

Mark's commitment to safety training underlines his message that everyone should be equipped with life-saving skills. “Like playing a baseball game,” Mark added, “be prepared for every scenario so you just go out there and you do it when the time comes.” His approach not only showcases his dedication to safety but also highlights the critical importance of being prepared, whether in baseball or life’s unexpected moments.