Three people who intervened after a man suffered a cardiac arrest in public are being described as courageous and level-headed - qualities honoured with the Vital Link Award from B.C. Ambulance Service.
Bobbie-jo Peterson, Gerry Boivin and Christina Kline were presented with awards at the ambulance service station in Sooke on Wednesday for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a Calgary tourist on July 7, 2011.
Vital Link Awards recognize contributions made by citizens during medical emergencies.
Peterson said she stopped after noticing a man's feet sticking out on the side of the road.
"He was blue," she said. "He looked dead."
A man was already on the phone to B.C. Ambulance Service. With her 14-year-old son's encouragement, Peterson started chest compressions on the Calgary tourist.
"He's the one who said, 'Come on, do CPR,' " she said.
Peterson, who lives in Sooke, said she received CPR training when her children were young because both have epilepsy.
Next on scene was Langford resident Gerry Boivin, a military diver who retired last year.
"I've had lots of training," he said, adding that he'd never had to put it into use. "But it did catch me off guard."
He started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when Sooke RCMP officer Christina Kline, who was fresh off of a three-week emergency medical response course, pulled over to help.
Sooke paramedic Chris Daoust arrived within 10 minutes and used a defibrillator on the man, who is in his 50s, to shock his heart back to a normal rhythm. He was then transported to Royal Jubilee Hospital, where he recovered.
"Usually, the outcome is not so positive," Daoust said. "It was because these people stopped to help this man."
Only 12 per cent of British Columbians who suffer cardiac arrest survive.
Kline said the incident was a reminder of the importance of CPR training. According to the B.C. Ambulance Service, only 15 per cent of British Columbians know CPR.
"If you're on a rural road [and in distress], what are the chances that it's one of the 15 per cent to come across you?" she said.