Friends encourage folks to learn CPR after saving a life

A fun camping trip took a dangerous turn last weekend. But thanks to the help of a Bedford County dispatcher, a group of friends were able to save a man’s life using CPR.

“I was terrified, just holding your friend in your hands, and there’s nothing there, just a vessel,” Joshua Martin said.

He tried his best to stay calm when he found his friend, Josh George, unconscious last weekend. The friends had been camping at Smith Mountain Lake when George became dangerously dehydrated.

“Saturday, Josh said he was going to lay down to a little nap because he was tired from the night before, and we found him an hour and a half later, and he was unresponsive,” Martin said.

The group of friends called 911. Mistine Traegner, a communications officer for Bedford County Dispatch, was the voice they heard on the other end of the line.

“Right away, get the CPR going and that kind of stuff, and it was hot, and they did really good, they did the CPR for I know it had to be at least 20 to 30 minutes before we got everyone out to them,” Traegner said.

With Traegner’s help, the friends saved George’s life.

“To have that extra guiding light, probably made a world of difference,” Martin said.

But the friends say they now know how important it is to learn CPR.

“I didn’t know CPR, not certified, but I think I’ll try and get certified, just in case, you never know when you’ll need it and it’s better to know and not need it than need it and not know it,” Martin said.

“I had training in CPR over 10 years ago, so I think it’s probably a good idea to stay updated with that information and training,” McKenzi Vail, a friend who also did CPR on George, said.

Traegner certainly agrees.

“Because anything can happen at any time. I mean, CPR is 100 percent, please learn it, go to your local volunteer fire company, go to your local ambulance, contact your local police, sheriff department, get your CPR,” Traegner said.

George was sent to the hospital and released a few days later.


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