HISID employee uses training to save woman's life
HOLIDAY ISLAND -- If it weren't for the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District's policy of providing on-the-job First Aid and CPR training to all its employees, an Eagle Rock woman might not be alive today.
At Monday's board meeting, the district honored James Asher, who works in the Roads Department, with a Certificate of Appreciation for his role in saving the life of a woman having a heart attack at L&L Stores in Eagle Rock, Mo., a few weeks ago.
Asher had taken the CPR, First Aid and Automatic External Defibrillator training while at work a few days before the incident.
"A couple of years ago the decision was made that the district employees should have CPR, First Aid and AED training, and we had classes," said Assistant Fire Chief Bob Clave. "That certification was expiring in the summer, so we retrained the people that had it and added the new people to it," He said Asher stepped right up and used his training. "The district appreciates that, and we'd just like to thank him for it."
"James, from the Board of Commissioners we want to thank you so much ... and commend you for your actions, and you represented Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District very well," said board Vice-president Linda Graves.
"All I can say is, it's something you hope you never have to do," Asher said. "But when the opportunity presents itself, you don't even think about it, you just do it."
The woman whose life Asher saved, Connie Woodall of Eagle Rock, echoes that. The 50-year-old woman works at L&L, and had a massive heart attack while at work, she said by phone Monday.
"He saved my life. He didn't think about himself, he just helped somebody else. A lot of people don't."
Woodall said she didn't know she had a heart problem, and had had no symptoms before the attack struck. But she is grateful to Asher.
"I'm told he worked on me for 45 minutes until the EMTs got there and started shocking my heart. They shocked me nine times and then put me in the helicopter, and they shocked me 11 times. They took me to the hospital and did immediate open-heart surgery."
Woodall said she is at home recuperating and is "sore as all get-out." But of Asher, she said, "If it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't be here. He doesn't know just how much I appreciate him. I'm thankful he was the one there, and he helped me."