L-105 apprentice helps save life two days after CPR training

Nineteen-year-old Joshua Hutchinson, center, stands with L-105 instructors Richard Holland, left, and Bruce Stevens.

Proud retiree thankful his three sons knew what to do for swimming buddy

JOSHUA HUTCHINSON, 19, told his father he would probably never use the standard first aid and CPR training he received July 19 during his first apprenticeship classes at Local 105 (Chillicothe, Ohio). He could not have been more wrong.

On July 21, just two days after that training, Hutchinson would find himself in a life-saving situation.

On that summer day, Hutchinson and his two brothers, David and Nathan, both graduate apprentices, had beached their boat on an Ohio River island to cool off. A friend, John Sawyers, joined the trio in doing belly flops into the shallow water. But Sawyers came down badly, and his head struck the river bottom.

Nathan scrambled to drag him out of the water as Sawyers gasped for breath. He soon lost consciousness and began turning blue. The three brothers knew they had to act quickly. “I just had the training Thursday,” Joshua told David and Nathan. Feeling no pulse from Sawyers, Joshua began CPR. After long, anxious moments, the brothers detected a sustained heartbeat. Joshua and David continued their rescue breathing while Nathan went for help. Twenty minutes later, Life Squad emergency assistance arrived by boat and transported Sawyers to a landing zone, where a helicopter flew him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Trauma E.R.

Emergency room doctors determined that Sawyers had broken his C-6 vertebra, an injury similar to that sustained by actor Christopher Reeves. The doctors stated that the prompt CPR saved Sawyers’ life.

The father of the three Hutchinson brothers, Lloyd Hutchinson, a Local 105 retiree, expressed pride in his Boilermaker sons and their life-saving skills. “We are all thankful for the training our sons received in the apprenticeship and thankful for John’s life and his good chance for a recovery,” he said.