It was the day before Thanksgiving when Greg Carcieri was at the customer service desk inside Walmart in Cranston, when he heard a 911 call come over the store radio.
A frantic manager found him and led him into the men's room where a 22-year-old male was on the bathroom floor turning blue.
Carcieri described the situation to NBC 10, "I crawled under the bathroom stall, opened the stall so the manager and everybody else could see what was going on. I then felt the patient for a pulse, saw that he had one so I knew I didn't have to perform CPR immediately."
How did he know? Carcieri is a volunteer firefighter with the Hopkins Hill fire department, and he is also an EMT student at 911 Programs in Warwick. He used a CPR dummy to demonstrate to NBC 10 what he did next.
According to Carcieri he "log-rolled the patient onto his back, I performed what we call in the field a head tilt, chin lift maneuver."
By doing this, the patient's tongue moved from blocking his airway while also aligning the airways between the nose, mouth and trachea. Once Cranston rescue crews arrived, the patient was put on a stretcher, and Carcieri ventilated him by using a bag-valve mask, essentially forcing air into the patient's lungs.
Cardieri told NBC 10 that the patient "started to come right back to life, thank God. They transported him to the hospital and as far as I know, everything turned out great."
His EMT instructors agree, Bill Howe, President of 911 Programs, wrote this in an email to NBC 10: "Greg has proved to be a leader in the classroom and we are not surprised that he demonstrated great character by helping a stranger in need. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, his department, the EMS profession, and of course this school."
One of the school's instructors, Carlene Merola agrees telling NBC 10 "being able to stress this more to our students and our community that it's simple little things like rolling a patient over, opening their airway so that their tongue gets out of the way so you can save someone's life."
Carcieri has not spoken to the patient in this case but hopes he is well and wishes him a Happy Holiday season.
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