NEWS | June 7, 2011

RIght place, right time, right training

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

An Airman stationed at Joint Base Charleston used cardiopulmonary resuscitation to save the life of a four-year-old child who nearly drowned June 4 at Hidden Lakes Pool in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

First Lt. Roy Jefferson, 628th Missions Support Group executive officer, his family and other military families were gathered at the Hidden Lakes Pool for a Military Mom's group outing. They never expected a near death experience to happen in front of them.

Lieutenant Jefferson's wife saw the little girl drowning and picked her up out of the water. His wife yelled for help and Lieutenant Jefferson ran to where she was holding the girl's motionless body.

"I noticed she wasn't breathing," Lieutenant Jefferson said. "I checked her pulse and her heart wasn't beating. I was nervous, but somehow I knew I had to administer CPR to save her life.

"After about eight compressions she started to breath. Although she awoke incoherent, she seemed to be fine. When the paramedics arrived they took her to the hospital. Later I got a call back from her parents saying she was okay."

Lieutenant Jefferson completed his CPR certification approximately a year ago at JB CHS and is now a certified trainer. He has taught CPR to more than 20 Airmen in his shop and constantly reminds them of the importance of knowing how to save a life.

"The local media and everyone there was calling me a hero, but I was just there at the right time," Lieutenant Jefferson said. "If I would have never learned how to perform CPR I wouldn't have known what to do. You never know when your CPR training will come in handy. And you never know when you're going to have a little girl in your arms who needs it."

Lieutenant Jefferson said he learned CPR because of his two children, but CPR can be a life saver for adults as well.

Everyone should learn to administer CPR and look to become certified, he said.

"That morning I was debating whether I should go to the pool or not, but I felt something tell me to spend time with my family," Lieutenant Jefferson said. "I'm not saying the little girl is alive because of me. Anyone who knew how to administer CPR could have saved her life. I just thank God she is alive."