Daniel Dowty isn’t exactly an ordinary teenager. The 18-year old high school senior may work a part-time job at a Shopko retail store, but he also works as a volunteer firefighter. Dowty is also a hero after his firefighter training served him well during a shift at Shopko.
Dowty is barely a month removed form his firefighter training. He’s yet to come face to face with a real fire. But he knew just what to do when one of his Shopko co-workers collapsed on the job.
“I was saying hello to a fellow co-worker and we heard some rustling around so we went over there and found the patient had a medical emergency,” Dowty explains. “My store manager, my pharmacist were all back there, bigger people. And they’re looking to me for guidance. It’s like ‘Oh, this is weird.'”
After quickly recognizing that the man didn’t have a pulse, Dowty, with help from the store’s pharmacist, began performing CPR. It was the only medical training Dowty received during his firefighter training, but it paid off.
Within a minute of receiving the call, Dowty’s firefighter colleagues were on the scene to take the man to the hospital. The man has since made a full recovery and returned to work. Authorities believe that Dowty being able to administer CPR right away may have been the difference between life and death.
“When you look at the survival rates of people who are pulseless, non-breathing, early CPR is the key to reviving those people,” said Grafton fire chief Bill Rice. “In this case, Daniel was able to provide early CPR, and that’s why he made a difference.”
When he graduates from high school, Dowty is hoping to become a full-time firefighter. He also wants to go to college to study natural resources. No matter what he accomplishes from here on out, Dowty will always be a hero.