Two UTC students, Macy Howell and Connor Pearce, were honored as First Responder Heroes at the 2015 annual Red Cross CHI Memorial Heroes Luncheon, for their rescue of another UTC student.
For Howell and Pearce, it was just a normal evening working the desk in the ARC. Then, they heard the cry for help, “Call 911!” A student had passed out on one of the workout machines, and begun to seize and foam at the mouth. Howell pulled the woman from the machine and grabbed the AED (Automated External Defibrillator), while Pearce grabbed the first aid kit and moved bystanders back. When Howell applied the AED, it malfunctioned, indicating that no CPR was required, even though her vitals were failing.
“Even though we knew she had no heartbeat, the AED said that this person does not need CPR, though she obviously did. That’s a scary situation,” Pearce said.
After receiving third party consent, Pearce began CPR. At repetition 58, she began breathing again. Howell and Pearce moved her into a position to open her airway and stayed with her until paramedics arrived.
“We are very proud of Macy and Connor. As a result of these two student leaders taking immediate action and staying calm, all turned out well and they saved the life of a fellow student,” said Miles Ledford, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation.
Pearce and Howell were honored for their rescue at the annual Red Cross Heroes Luncheon, along with five others who helped a family escape a burning home, volunteered during local emergencies, and raised money for medical research. Lt. Commander Tim White, commanding officer of the Navy Operational Support Center of Chattanooga, who returned fire against the attacker during the July 16, 2015 shootings, was the keynote speaker.
“I feel very privileged, very honored to be a part of that,” said Pearce. “But this is still weird for me, I’m not used to being in the limelight. I just did my job.”
ARC employees are required to take a Red Cross certified first aid course, which includes AED use and manual CPR. Connor, who is in the National Guard, has also completed the Combat Lifesaver course.
SGA previously honored Howell and Pearce as Student of the Month.