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NSC Survivor Stories

First Aid Training Saves Lives

The mission of the National Safety Council is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths. To date NSC has trained more than 10,000,000 responders in First Aid and CPR and has saved approximately 30,000 lives.


Quick Action by Aurora Sergeant Credited with Saving Lives

Aurora Police Sergeant Bill Rowley reunited with Abby and Emma Schmidt after they were released from the hospital last month. Rowley performed CPR on Abby, 2, who was not breathing after she was involved in a serious car crash on her way to a pumpkin farm with her family. Sometimes, people are put on certain paths for certain reasons...and nobody knows why. On Oct. 13, the paths of two Fox Valley families crossed, and nothing short of a miracle happened because of it. Continue Reading

Jake McMahon- A Story of Hope, Faith Resiliency

On October 17th, Chris Warner, who is an athletic trainer at Hawthorne High School was covering a soccer game at his school, when a 17 year-old student athlete from the visiting team suddenly collapsed.  Continue Reading


A wonderful story from Union Pacific Railroad -

UPOnline CPR Article 04122013.pdfUPOnline CPR Article 04122013.pdf


On Wednesday, February 29, the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina recognized four esteemed members of the SGL Group Morganton family, for their efforts that saved the life of a fellow employee, Eddie Lanning. Click on the link above to see the full story!

Kinlee Keltner

It was a typical summer evening for the Keltner family, as Kinlee, age 2, and her family played in her grandfather’s pool. When Kinlee needed to use the bathroom her father, Brian took off her floaties and sent her inside to her mom. Without her mother’s knowledge, Kinlee slipped back outside and into the pool unnoticed, even with the rest of the family still in the pool.

Suddenly the family realized Kinlee was missing, and then her lifeless body was found at the bottom of the pool. Brian, a master CPR instructor for NSC, immediately began CPR while another family member called 911.

At the hospital, Kinlee was put on a ventilator and the family was told to prepare for the worst. If she lived, she would suffer serious brain damage.

Defying predictions, Kinlee made a full recovery and was able to walk out of the hospital without any signs of brain damage a few days later, thanks to her father.

Jim Odgers

Jim Odgers was at work outside the Tampa International Airport when he collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest. Without hesitation, four of his co-workers—Mark Lovell, Rick Derby, Chris Scangarello and Nui Ahquin—rushed to his side and began CPR. For the next four to five minutes, they kept blood and oxygen moving through­out his body with compressions.

When responders arrived, they took over chest compres­sions and shocked Odgers three times with an AED to restore his heartbeat. At the hospital, James was given an implanted defibrillator and two stents. Four months later he was back at work, alongside the co-workers who had saved him.

Today Jim enjoys a great life, job and family because of his co-workers who took the time to learn CPR and recognize the importance of being trained properly.

Rick Fisher

Rick Fisher, an area manager at Pizzagalli Construction Company, always enjoys taking the office staff to lunch when he makes his round of visits. During lunch, Rick suddenly began choking. He raised his hands to his throat, the universal sign for choking.

Across the table, Jason Babbidge, a civil engineer trained in NSC First Aid and CPR, asked Rick if he was choking. Unable to speak, Rick nodded his head yes in response. Jason immediately stood behind the choking man and began providing abdominal thrusts. After a couple of attempts, the food became dislodged, enabling Rick to breathe again.

Because Jason was trained in first aid and had the confidence to use his skills, Rick can tell this story with a happy ending.

Austyn Atanasoff

On the ride home from having dinner with his parents and family friend three year-old Austyn Atanasoff-Perea suddenly began choking from the confines of his car seat. What the adults in the car found out later, Austyn had fallen asleep while sucking on a mint he received at the restaurant, and was now choking, unable to breathe. His father, Marcus, who was riding in the back seat, saw the fear in his young son’s eyes and realized his son was choking.

Luckily their friend, a registered nurse calmly gave explicit directions to Marcus from the front seat. She was able to talk Marcus through the process of dislodging the mint and Austyn quickly recovered.

Carlos Morais

A Brazilian national, Carlos Morais traveled to the United Sates as assistant coach for his wife’s basketball team. Carlos had been feeling out of sorts since arriving in the states, but attributed it to the stress of traveling. He continued his work with the team.

He had been in the country for ten days when he finished up practice and headed into the office. Suddenly he lost consciousness. The athletes who were in the room with him called for the coach, who assessed the situation and performed CPR until paramedics arrived, saving Carlos’ life.

This was a life changing experience for Carlos. Upon his return to Brazil, he became an NSC CPR Instructor. He now not only has the opportunity to save lives, but to give others the knowledge and confidence they need to do the same.

John Smith

John Smith was golfing with his wife Sue, when he announced that he wasn’t feeling well. Sue, a registered nurse and NSC instructor, noticed her husband’s color was not good. She helped John into the golf cart and headed back to the clubhouse.

Fortunately there was a paramedic on the first hole. Sue and the paramedic surmised that John was in cardiac arrest, so she immediately began CPR while the paramedic called 911. John’s streak of good luck continued; a nurse was in the clubhouse and arrived on the scene to lend assistance. Sue and the nurse continued CPR.Sue had to shock John three times with the AED before he was airlifted to the hospital.

Today, John and Sue are grateful that she was able to use her NSC training to save his life.

John Fadden

John Fadden finished a seminar in Chicago and ran to catch the 6:35 train home. Feeling winded, he sank into the first seat he could find. He felt like he needed air, so he stood up to stand by the door of the train. Instead he collapsed in the aisle.

Sarah Natalie, also riding the train, is a personal trainer who served on a rescue squad. With her first aid training, she jumped up to help. She assessed the situation; it was obvious he was in distress. Another passenger untrained in CPR offered to help. Sarah and the other passenger performed CPR.

Sarah continued the compressions for more than 15 minutes when the train pulled into the next station, where the paramedics contacted by the conductor, were waiting. John credits Sarah, now a life long friend of the family, with saving his life.

John Gripka

On the evening of October 31, John Gripka was taking his dinner break with the second shift at Tuthill Transport Technologies when suddenly he found himself unable to breathe – a piece of food had lodged in his throat.

A co-worker, Dewey Duncan, quickly assessed the situation and asked John if he was choking. John shook his head indicating he was. Dewey attempted to clear John’s airway using abdominal thrusts. At the third attempt, the food was dislodged and John was breathing again.

Dewey explained that the training he received at work taught him the key actions needed in this emergency: remain calm and clear the air passage. He also credits his training with providing him the confidence that he would not have had otherwise.

Today, John and Dewey have a new appreciation for the training their employer provided.


Impact video


Send us your survivor stories!

If you are a survivor or have saved someone's life, we want to hear from you and publish your story!



Are you prepared to handle a life threatening emergency?  

If you are authorized to teach first aid and CPR by another provider, we will grandfather you into NSC programs.

Become an NSC First Aid Instructor and join our mission to save more lives.






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