Man's Co-Workers Honored for Saving His Life - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Man's Co-Workers Honored for Saving His Life

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Would you know how to perform CPR on someone having a heart attack, right in front of you?

Saturday afternoon, Bill Conway, George Flanders and Gary Firch were recognized for doing just that.

Back in February, Firch was making coffee when he noticed something wasn't right with his colleague, Carl Johnson.

"I heard him cough so I shut the water off and asked if he was ok; I got no response," said Firch.  "Then when I walked around the corner to see him, I noticed he was in full cardiac arrest."

Firch then called out into the office for help.  "I immediately grabbed the phone and called 911.  Then, George and Bill came over within seconds."

"I started with compressions while George was making sure on the vitals," said Conway.  We just looked at each other and did it."

Within minutes, Johnson was being rushed to the hospital.  Experts said if it wasn't for the quick work of his co-workers, Johnson may not have survived.

"His co-workers had just completed CPR training, that particularly features hands-on CPR," said Bill McClincy, EMMCO West.

"I am very grateful for what they have done," said Johnson.  "If it weren't for them, I know I wouldn't be here today."

It only took 72 minutes from the time the ambulance arrived on the scene, to the time Johnson began responding at the hospital; the national time-frame goal is 90 minutes.

Johnson survived, but it doesn't always work out that way.  Deputy Coroner, Dennis Suscheck, is someone who knows that all too well.

"Their actions certainly made a difference," said Suscheck.  "It's a perfect example of how bystander CPR is so important in these sudden cardiac events," he said.

First responders and Millcreek Paramedics were also recognized.  The importance of bystander CPR is a lesson, first responders say everyone needs to know; after all, it could save a life.

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