First-aid-trained teen saves elderly man’s life

Elderly man collapses on Cordova Bay Road, teen administers CPR and assists in saving the man's life

  • Jan. 31, 2013 9:00 a.m.

A 17-year-old lifeguard from Panorama Recreation Centre used his on-the-job skills off the job to help save a man who was walking along Cordova Bay Road.

Saanich police and fire crews were called to the 5000-block of Cordova Bay Rd. around 2:35 p.m. after an elderly man collapsed, and was found to be not breathing and his heart was stopped.

Thomas Ottewell, 17, a trained first aid attendant, happened to be in the area and rushed to the assistance of the elderly man.

“He kind of took charge of the situation and initiated CPR,” said Saanich police Staff Sgt. Rob Piercy. He also instructed the man’s wife to administer air to her husband.

Once rescue crews arrived, an automated external defibrillator (AED) was used, which successfully revived him. He was taken to Royal Jubilee Hospital in stable condition.

“It’s this young man taking some immediate action and initiating CPR and continuing it that made the difference and saved this man’s life,” Piercy said.

According to an ambulance attendant, the elderly man had, in fact, died, and was saved by a combination of Ottewell’s CPR and the AED.

Piercy said the police department is now looking to give Ottewell an award in recognition of his service.

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