Troopers and paramedics restart a heart 

Two state troopers and a pair of off-duty paramedics saved a life.

“Even as long as we train and as hard as we train, it’s rare to get a pulse back and see them trying to live,” Blake Shockey said about the outcome of the 4-man effort that got a lot of help from so many more.

A 911 call around 7:30 p.m. Thursday said a man appeared unconscious at a stop sign on Ford Hill Road about 4 miles south of U.S. 50.

Troopers S.W. Rigby and J.L. Wolfe found the 70-year-old slumped behind the steering wheel. Paramedic Derek Skinner heard the call and arrived on the scene with them.

Shockey, on his way home to Capon Bridge after a shift with Romney’s volunteer rescue squad, was next. He found Skinner and the troopers performing CPR.

“We were there without any equipment, rotating on CPR,” Shockey said.

Within 10 minutes, the Augusta Rescue Squad arrived with what they needed.

“I had the ambulance there,” Rescue Chief James “Bubba” Aylor said, “so they’d have equipment.”

That included a defibrillator and medications that helped the rescuers regain a pulse.

Shockey said training kicked in.

“We know what our job to do is and we focus on that,” he said. “Derek and I were talking back and forth,” discussing options.

Too often, Shockey said, situations like this end in the medical examiner being called in to pronounce a death. Getting the heart beating again is rare, he said.

“We were able to get the pulse back and know he’s still alive,” Shockey said. “It gets your heart pumping.”

HealthNet medical helicopter was called out of Martinsburg and flew the patient to Winchester Medical Center. Reports Tuesday morning indicated the man was still in intensive care.

“He has the best chance that pretty much anyone ever has,” Shockey said.

The county’s paid ambulance service also responded to the scene.

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