Saving a life: They knew how

Fire Chief John Bradner presents challenge coins to, from left, life savers Mitch Johnston, Erik Roos, Mike Davis, Jay Poppleton, Angela Miller, and Mark Wagner.

One day last month, six employees of Burcham's Metals saved a man's life by working together and demonstrating what they had learned about CPR.

On Wednesday they were invited to come before the Albany City Council to receive the fire department's citizen lifesaving award.

The way Fire Chief John Bradner told the story, a man had come in to the metal recycling business at Pacific and 34th and collapsed. The crew on duty, shorthanded though they were, immediately recognized the apparent heart attack and jumped into action. Two or three started CPR while someone else called 911. One went to the street to guide the emergency medics when they arrived. Others had moved equipment so that the fire department ambulance could drive into the yard.

The workers acknowledged their boss, Jay Burcham, saying he trains his work force to respond correctly in such a case and conducts regular drills.

Bradner thanked the workers for saving the man's life. It is this kind of citizen knowledge and action that the department relies on, because no matter how fast medics respond, there's always a time lag before they get to the scene.

The man, Mike Murphy, in his 50s, an employee of Mike's Heating and Air, was taken to the hospital and recovered. A few days later, he showed up at Burcham's, bearing cheese cake and his thanks. (hh)

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