Henrico fireman saves a life on first day of job - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Henrico fireman saves a life on first day of job


It's an unforgettable first day on the job for a Henrico firefighter. He got the chance to save a life. 22-year-old Sean Anderson hasn't been a firefighter for even a month yet, but he's quickly learning that when a life or death emergency calls, there's no time to wait.

Firefighters are trained to respond to all kinds of emergencies. That's why the brand new recruit was able to jump into action when one man found himself in a dire situation - during a funeral.

Whenever you need them, you can count on fire crews to get there as quickly as possible.

"They're calling you on their worst day, so it's up to you to make it as positive of an experience as possible," said Sean Anderson.

It's a lesson the 22-year-old firefighter learned right away - during his very first day on the job.

"We were here at the station getting ready for lunch and we were dispatched for a cardiac arrest," he said.

The victim was speaking at a funeral service, when suddenly - his heart stopped.

Anderson went through seven months of extensive training before his first day and everything he learned proved to be vital.

"We arrived and there were bystanders doing CPR on the gentleman. So we took over CPR and the paramedics on the engine started doing some advance life support skills and we were lucky enough to have the patient regain a pulse and start breathing after two defibrillations," Anderson recounted.

It's a remarkable recovery on a rare first response.

"To respond to a call and to have a return of circulation and to have a gentleman who was in cardiac arrest talk to you, for a first day, that's rare," said Lt. Jackson Baynard.

But the new recruit doesn't want all of the credit.

"A lot of things went right that day and I played a small part in the big picture of what happened that day," Anderson added.

He's just glad he knew what to do when seconds meant the difference between life and death.

"To go on your first day and use all that training, to kind of be thrown into the deep end and have a positive result on the first day is pretty exciting," he said.

Though he's only been on the job a few weeks now, Anderson says this was by far one of the most rewarding calls he's received.

Fire investigators say there were people on scene at that funeral who rushed to perform CPR before fire crews could even get there. First responders say that type of response from bystanders can be critical in saving a person's life.

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