A violent windstorm blew through the Valley on December 11, 2021. Members of the Hemmingford Fire Service responded to multiple calls about downed power lines and fallen trees. Firefighter Christopher McAdam was out with truck number 221, responding to a call about a fallen tree that was blocking route 202, when his day took a complete turn.
Fire chief Neil Lamb recounted the story on April 23 during the Hemmingford Service annual banquet in honour of the municipal fire department. He told how McAdam was using a chainsaw to cut branches when he ran out of gas. On his way to refill the saw, he came across a man lying on the ground; the man was not breathing. McAdam grabbed the AED (automated external defibrillator) from his truck and was able to swiftly defibrillate the patient and then perform CPR. “After one shock, the patient responded,” said Lamb.
He invited McAdam to come forward and be presented with a plaque in recognition of his heroic act. Lamb then introduced the patient, Stephen Wright, to the audience. “Because of Christopher’s fast intervention, we are honoured to have [Wright] as our special guest this evening,” he said. McAdam was then able to meet the man whose life he had saved.
All of Hemmingford’s fire trucks are equipped with AED devices, and all department members have received training by Gabriel Bourdon in how to use the life-saving equipment as well as in first aid and CPR. The banquet on April 23 was the first of its kind to take place since the start of the pandemic.