‘Something was really wrong’: Employees Save Co-Worker’s Life with AED

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You may see them hanging on walls at work, in school, or you maybe even have one at home.

Automatic External Defibrillators, or AED’s, help save hundreds of thousands of people each year in situations where every single second counts.

In July, a local man wouldn’t have lived without teamwork and the life saving machine. On Tuesday, the Panama City Fire Department will honor the six people who saved the man’s life. 

You never know when someone will desperately need your help. “I heard a hard hat hit the floor and Graham was laying on the floor underneath the stall. I pulled him out,” Berg Steel Pipe employee, Wade Miller, said.

Travis underwood ran to help their Berg Steel Pipe coworker who goes by Graham.

“I’m freaking out. I’m seeing a guy turn purple and stop breathing,” another employee, Travis Underwood, remembers. He then called 9-11.

It was 15 minutes into Torild May’s first day at his new job. He began CPR. “I didn’t even think twice about it,” he said. “Something was really wrong,” Underwood said.

Giving CPR and calling 911 were right first steps.

“We were all kind of standing there saying ‘what do we do next?'” employee Amanda Cook said. They needed an AED. 

Automatic External Defibrillators send electric shocks to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. One of Graham’s arteries was 40 percent percent blocked and another was blocked completely.

“The second time he was shocked he came back to us, so it was a great thing to watch him come back to us,”  Michael Sexton, another employee, said.

“Everything started to come back. He started reacting to us,” Tim Lister, another Berg Steel Pipe employee, said.

Berg Steel Pipe employees said they’re now going to put AED at every work station. They also said  employees will now go through CPR and AED training once a year instead of every two years.

AED’s are in many buildings but aren’t everywhere. Panama City’s fire chief said every business should have at least one, and people should even consider getting them for their homes. 

“If AED and bystander CPR are done, the chances of survival are doubled rather than waiting for 911 to arrive to the scene to do CPR,” Alex Baird, Panama City’s Fire Chief, said.

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