WATCH: A Nanaimo man is praising the quick thinking of his St. John’s Ambulance instructor and classmates after his heart literally stopped in the middle of a first aid course. They jumped to the rescue to save him and as Skye Ryan reports, Earl Morris is certain he wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t been in that very place at that time.
Training in a St. John’s Ambulance first aid class became urgent when Earl Morris collapsed before everyone’s eyes.
“We are all so fortunate that I was where I was when this occurred,” said Morris.
“Otherwise again we wouldn’t be speaking,” said the Nanaimo man.
The 66-year-old Nanaimo man was taking a refresher first aid course at the Cowichan Training Centre in March when, as the day-long class neared an end, his real-life rescue began when he suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of the training room.
“I was just sitting in a chair normal like we are here today and I just yeah blacked out,” said Morris.
“Yeah he was in the right place at the right time though,” said Cowichan Training Centre’s Anne Saele.
Saele says immediately the instructor, Paul McCoy, went to work and began CPR.
“We love Paul and he took right over,” said Saele.
Then with the help of trainees, they grabbed a defibrillator to restart his heart.
“We just finished doing an hour of CPR as well which may have tuckered him out,” said McCoy.
“So we had just done it and there it is.”
For his part, McCoy, whose day job is serving in the military, is humble about the role he played.
“Right place right time,” said McCoy.
Morris said in the wake of this he can’t urge people enough to get first aid training that could save a life
“You know you could find somebody on the street who just passed out and saved their lives. It’s worthwhile,” said Morris.