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Paramedic Students' Life Saving Lesson

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They train to rescue people, but over the weekend four EKU paramedic students and their instructor stumbled upon a real-life emergency in West Virginia. Of course, the students jumped into action and saved the day.

Practice makes perfect, and that's especially true when saving lives. It's something John Gaddis, his wife Leah Gaddis, and their classmates Ashley Brosmer and Brad Harp know first hand. As Eastern Kentucky University students, and licensed paramedics, they're taught an emergency can happen at any moment.

"That's really the name of the game. You have to be ready to help out at a moment's notice," said EKU Paramedic Program instructor, David Fifer.

Fifer preaches that lesson to the four paramedics, however on Sunday they passed a true test in emergency response.

"I couldn't be more proud of the way the students responded. It was like a well oiled machine, just like we trained them," said Fifer.

It all started as they were driving back from a conference in Maryland. While the group was near Charleston, West Virginia, they noticed a pickup crashed on the side of the highway.

"We looked over and there was a car in a ditch, so we hopped out and got to work," said Harp, a licensed paramedic and senior at EKU.

"Initially they were just kind of like, this guy is hurt, he needs help. And then we sort of got tunnel vision around the patient," said John Gaddis, a licensed paramedic who is studying emergency medicine.

Although the students didn't have their ambulance and most of their equipment, the emergency responders didn't hesitate to jump into action.

"He was in a pretty bad situation. He needed some medical attention. The best we could give without having the tools we are used to having," said Brosmer, a paramedic sequence student.

"It was about the patient, it was all about him," said Leah Gaddis, a licensed paramedic working toward a Bachelor's degree.

As a team, the four students and instructor were able to save the man. They helped local responders once they arrived, and then had an adrenaline rush for the remainder of their ride.

"It was just an incredible feeling. And we were all pretty stoked about it," said Leah.

Now they're back to their life saving simulation at EKU. Teaching a lesson to us all, that there's nothing like a hero's intuition during an emergency. 

"You don't second guess things, you just do what you have been taught to do," said Brosmer.

The students and their instructor encourage people to become CPR certified, so they too can help in an emergency.

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