Matt Howell, a firefighter in Virgina, was running what he thought was going to be just another 10k. He regularly runs these events for charities, fundraisers, and just for fun but this time it turned into something totally different. After just 3 miles of the Monument Avenue 10k Howell’s day changed dramatically when he saw another runner on the ground. Howell did not immediately know what was wrong or what was going on, but he and some other runners stopped to offer assistance and it is a good thing Howell did stop.
Upon reaching the man on the ground Howell immediately started to use his first responded training to save the man’s live. His first step was to check for breathing and a pulse; Howell says things weren’t looking good when he was unable to locate either on the man. The immediate assumption was that the runner had suffered a heart attack, fortunately Howell knew just what to do to save his life. Thanks to some quick thinking and a little bit of luck Howell was able to use a nearby defibrillator to shock the man’s heart back to life.
These types of accidents happen during runs unfortunately but there are always medical officials on site to assist. Fortunately in the case one such medical official happened to be a fellow runner who saw the entire event happen. With an emergency like this just seconds can make a big difference and officials say that Howell’s immediate response absolutely helped save the man’s life.
Amazingly, after saving the man’s life and seeing him loaded onto an ambulance Howell knew what he needed to do. Howell turned, got back on the running path, and continued to finish his 10k run. The run time wasn’t exactly his best but he says that it is ok, he’s willing to add some time to his run to save a fellow runner’s life. Howell says that he simply couldn’t imagine not helping the man, and he was happy to be in the right place at the right time.