AMHERST - It was over 20 years ago when Wade Quinn learned CPR and over 10 years ago when Rochenda Tilt first learned the life saving skill, yet neither of them hesitated when the time came to use it.
The two were recently honored by the Province of Nova Scotia, the Municipality of Cumberland County and Emergency Health Services (EHS) for helping to save the life of Sidney Melanson Jr., from River Hebert.
"I'm very grateful for what they did. My wife, Helen, and I are so thankful," said Melanson Jr.
Tilt, from Malagash, and Quinn, from River Hebert were at the Brookside Curling Club in River Hebert for a high school curling tournament the morning of Feb. 29 when they witnessed Melanson Jr. fall to the floor and take a heart attack.
Melanson Jr., a volunteer at the curling club, had just finished cleaning the ice when he suddenly collapsed in the viewing area.
The pair immediately went to Melanson's aid, Tilt performing chest compressions and Quinn performing mouth-to-mouth.
"I still think about it quite a bit. It's quite a violent thing, having a heart attack," said Tilt. "I definitely want my children to learn the skill now and be familiar with what to do in a situation like that," said Tilt.
The pair were recognized for their courageous actions, along with the River Hebert Fire Department the Joggins Fire Department first responders teams, who arrived on the scene and resuscitated Melanson Jr. using a defibrillator.
"The fact that Sidney is still here today is proof that the system does work. We are lucky to have such great support in this area, especially from our fire departments," said Murray Scott, MLA for Cumberland South.
Jeff Fraser, Provincial Manager of Emergency Health Services (EHS) Communications Centre in Dartmouth says a person should never hesitate to call 911 if they suspect something isn't quite right.
"If you are with someone who is experiencing chest pains, the sooner you call 911 the better. The 911 operator will be able to determine whether or not you might need our help," said Fraser.
Fraser also said that even if your CPR first training isn't up to date don't hesitate to do what you can.
"CPR is something you don't really forget and doing something is always better than doing nothing," said Fraser. "If those two people hadn't stepped in and done what they did, Mr. Melanson might not be here today."