"Something had to be Done"; Bystanders Honored for Saving Woman's Life in Greenfield
They were in the right place, at the right time, and now a trio of Greenfield citizens are being honored for saving a woman's life.
It all started outside a McDonalds on Saturday June 6th, when a woman began choking on her breakfast inside a mini-van. According to the Greenfield Fire Department, that woman's family moved her to the median, and began waving down cars for help.
"I noticed people were in a huge panic," says Brian Tabbert, a Troubleshooter for WE Energies. "I took my company truck and used it to block traffic, and as I pulled up she had fallen over unconscious."
He then got out of his vehicle, and began performing the Heimlich maneuver.
"I tried to dislodge the food and that didn't work, and at that point two nurses had shown up."
One of those was Anna Campion, on her way home after a 12-hour shift at the hospital she works at.
"I pulled over, got out of my car, saw him doing chest compressions on her. So I ran over and checked for a pulse."
Eventually, the group was able to dislodge the food, and regain a heartbeat through hands-only CPR.
"It's just automatic instinct to help," says Campion. "I work in the ICU, so having to do CPR on people is almost second nature unfortunately."
Wednesday afternoon, they were recognized by the Greenfield Fire Department for putting their lives on hold to help a stranger.
"We need bystanders to take action if we're going to improve outcomes in these types of calls," says Fire Chief Jon Cohn. "For every minute that goes by, the chances of survival decrease by 10%."
Campion and Tabbert both say they'd do it again.
"It's just the right thing to do," says Tabbert. "I would expect somebody to do it for me, or anyone I know."
"I was just doing what I would do for anybody," says Campion. "It's not about recognition, it's just about helping people."
In February, the Greenfield Fire Department worked with state legislators to pass a new law, requiring all high school students to learn hands-only CPR before graduation.
A spokesman for WE Energies says every employee in the field is trained in life-saving tools like hands-only CPR.