PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Soldiers protect our country and save lives everyday. You wouldn't always think of them rescuing people at a gas station. That's exactly what one military police officer did when he saw a man dying.
John Myres was getting ready to fill up his tank at a gas station at the Kroger grocery store in Midlothian when he collapsed. His heart stopped. The military police officer saw him. That's when his instincts kicked in.
Sgt. Edmund Whipple ran over to Mr. Myres who was partially under his car at the time. He had gone into cardiac arrest. Sgt. Whipple performed CPR on him while one other person called for help.
"If someone is down, I want get there and help," said Sgt. Whipple. "Being in law enforcement, I run towards people."
Myres has an unsteady heartbeat. But he says it's never given him any problems until last month.
"It's because of them I'm here, and I will never forget it," said Myres.
His daughter is a nurse and she knew his condition was serious. She says there's a 10% chance of surviving cardiac arrest outside a hospital. She just lost her mom in July and she wasn't ready to lose her dad.
"I'm very grateful," said his daughter, Jacqui. "I do the same thing, and it's in our blood. It's something that comes natural to us. You always wonder if someone is going to do the same for you someday. You hope one day, it might come back to you and it did."
Myres' family is grateful for Sgt. Whipple's quick response.
"There are too many instances when people stand back and don't want to do anything," said Myres. "He didn't hesitate for a millisecond."
Even though he prefers to be behind the scenes, Tuesday, the military police officer was in the limelight. He was honored with the army commendation medal.
"Who would think you'd be at a gas station?" said Sgt. Whipple. "Next thing you know, you're saving someone's life."
Myres has a permanent defibrillator now. He says he wants to pay it forward by learning CPR so he can help save a life if he has to. Other than some fatigue, Myres is doing fine.