CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Quick thinking and professional training can be the difference in life and death in an emergency and two Clearfield County firefighters did just that to save a family member.
On the morning of July 3, Jaden and Taylor Cunningham sprung into action when Taylor’s father returned home pleading for help.
Taylor’s parents were under the impression that they had a normal day ahead of them. They planned to make a trip to the local gas station. When on their way to the gas station Taylor’s mom, Carol Price, seemed to fall asleep. Things suddenly changed when she sat up and gave a look at Taylor’s father, Edward Price. That’s when he knew something was wrong. He rushed Carol home to Jaden and Taylor and pleaded for their help.
Jaden said when he rushed out to the car, Carol was sitting in the passenger seat lifeless. Edward said to Jaden and Taylor, “Do what you got to do.”
The Cunninghams are both firefighters for the Irvona Volunteer Fire Company and are both CPR-certified.
Jaden and Taylor ripped Carol out of the car and immediately took action. They performed CPR for 20 minutes before EMS units arrived.
“As much as I hate to say this, when she arrived to us, she was already deceased,” Jaden said. “We literally brought her back with our training. And this is something that we’re both grateful for.”
Typical protocols require emergency responders to step back from situations involving family members where emotions run high. In this case, the Cunninghams had no choice but to act quickly.
“You just go into a fight or flight response. At that moment, it was fight. I did what I would do for anyone in my community,” Jaden said.
Carol suffered what doctors call a “Widowmaker” heart attack and had just a 1.5 % chance of survival. She also had a Pulmonary Embolism, a stroke and brain bleeds all at one time.
“At first it didn’t hit me, it was just get to work, keep going, because I know it’s going to be a while before help arrives,” Taylor said.
While saving Carol, they knew they had to keep calm.
“I could see he was panicking a little bit, but doing the absolute best he could and I was able to take over when he was struggling. We did have moments where we did lose our composure, but we always just kept going,” Taylor said.
Now the Cunninghams are encouraging everyone to become CPR certified. You never know whose life could be on the line.
“With this, I’m actually able to say that because of my father-in-law’s quick thinking and me and my wife’s training,” Jaden said. “We did have a positive outcome on our mother-in-law.”
The Cunninghams also thank QRS 28 in Coalport, Madera EMS, and AMED, UPMC Altoona, and the Midtown Oaks Health & Rehab Center who assisted.
The two are both passionate about the job and said everyone should join their local fire departments.