Craig was the right person in the right place at the exact right time
September 18 was supposed to be just another Tuesday for Energy and Environment Cabinet Employee Jason Craig.
As a resource recovery worker in the Division of Waste Management, for the past 11 years, Craig visits state office buildings, gathers recycled paper, then shreds and recycle it. His rounds took him to the Capitol building that day.
“We got to the first floor, almost there at the end,” Craig said. “We come up the last hallway and I hear someone say, ‘Hey, call 911, someone’s passed out.’ So I ran up to a girl I know there and said ‘I know CPR, is there anything I can do to help?’ ”
The next minutes were a blur, Craig said.
Craig was the first inside a conference room off the main hallway. He saw the victim, with his head slumped back in the chair. “His eyes were still open,” Craid said. “We (Craig and two Kentucky State Police officers) checked for a pulse or breathing. Nothing,” Craig said.
Kentucky State Police officer Roger Swiger followed seconds later, carrying an automated external defibrillator (AED). He asked Craig if he knew how to operate the machine.
Craig said yes.“It’s a scary feeling that comes over you,” Craig said.
After lowering the man to the floor, Swiger started CPR, and Craig got the AED, connected the machine to the man’s chest, and shocked him.
“We were just looking for a sign of anything.”
Craig said he couldn’t think clearly, but the AED machine gave clear directions.
“I just went by the machine (for directions), we shocked him the first time and there wasn’t a sign or anything.”
Officer Casey Mahoney then took over doing chest compressions, and Craig readied the machine for another shock. He pushed the button to initiate the shock, and the man gasped.
The electrical stimulation had worked.
“When you shock them, it does raise them up. Their arms come up and they bow up, and he (breathed in), and the machine said not to shock the patient again,” Craig said. “In my mind I’m thinking, is this really happening or am I at home still asleep in a bad dream. Did I really just shock this guy laying here on the floor?”
By then the paramedics were at the Capitol, and his work was done. Craig said without the first aid training he received through his job with the Energy and Environment Cabinet , he wouldn’t have been able to help the man.
“Everyone in our shop has been through the training,” Craig said.
When paramedics arrived, he finished his collection route, went back to his shop and told his bosses. “I’m just glad the guy is alive today.
State police didn’t know at first who Craig was, but were eventually able to figure out who had helped save the man’s life, and sent along a note. It said, “On 9/18/18, my officers responded to a medical emergency in a conference room in the Capitol Building. Mr. Craig, who just happened to be in the Capitol, volunteered and responded with my officer and assisted that officer with the CPR/AED protocols that were used on the patient until Frankfort City EMS could respond and transport this patient to the hospital for further treatment.
…Had not been for the quick response of my officers and Mr. Craig, the patient probably would not have survived this cardiac event. I just wanted to make you aware of the actions of your employee and say that these actions made a big difference and helped to save a life.”
Brian Bentley, one of Craig’s supervisor’s , said Craig is an extremely hard worker who got his work ethic and down-to-earth nature from growing up on a family farm.
“Jason is not one to expect any recognition for anything he does. When talking about how proud we are of him for this heroic act Jason just says “I`m glad the man survived and is safe with his family and that`s all the recognition I need,” Bentley said.