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Hometown Heroes: Quick Thinking By Three Afton Women Save Man

It was the evening of November 6, 2017, and the night of the first class for Lifeguard Certification at Afton Central School. In that class was a 70-year-old man who was taking the class to qualify as a lifeguard at a Girl Scout Camp.

The second leg for this certification was a 500-yard swim. Noticing that the male student looked a little tired, Sue Shove, one of the lifeguard instructors, told him he could complete it at another time. Ignoring her offer, the man completed the swim, exited the pool and collapsed after apparently suffering a heart attack.

Sue and two other instructors, Lila Harris and Jennifer Jones, immediately began using their Red Cross training skills. They did a primary survey and discovered he was having breathing difficulties. Lila started CPR, with Jenn doing the rescue breaths. This allowed Sue to call 911 and the man's wife.

An Afton student, also in the class, brought in the AED. Sue then took over CPR, con­nected the defibrillator and followed the AED prompts. The fire department arrived within 5-6 minutes and took over CPR. An EMS ambulance followed s minutes later and transported the man to UHS Wilson Medical Center, where he underwent open-heart surgery.

Do the three women think they are heroes? Their resounding answer ... "NO! We're just happy he is alive and well!"

The Red Cross presented Jones, Harris and Shove with the Lifeline Award.