Local fire official credited for saving life of Cable area man
By Rapids City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – A Wisconsin Rapids area fire official is being credited for saving the life of a 63-year-old man in the Cable area.
“I was out on the lake in the Cable area with friends and family when we decided to grab a bite to eat at a local resort,” said 63-year-old Bruce Claflin. “We docked and started climbing the hill up to the resort when I went into respiratory arrest. I have allergies to pine pollen and also COPD. Essentially I could not breathe and I passed out. Friends went into the resort to call for assistance.”
Wisconsin Rapids Fire Chief Scott Young was vacationing at the resort that week in mid-July and ran out to help the man.
“When he heard the commotion, he came running, took control of the situation, and administered CPR,” Claflin said. “They worked on me for nearly four minutes I’m told. Paramedics arrived, transferred me to Cable Union airport and put me on a helicopter to St. Mary’s in Duluth, MN.”
Since then, Claflin has made a full recovery and credits Young for his skill and quick action.
“At the very least, he used his skills and training to keep me alive until paramedics arrived,” Claflin added. “I’ve been released from the hospital with no other restrictions than those that anyone who has COPD must obey. My heart sustained no damage and is in excellent shape according to doctors.”
Claflin said that he is extremely grateful to Young and says the experience was a good reminder on what is important in life.
“I am extremely lucky that Scott was on scene—and also very sorry that I messed with his vacation time,” Claflin stated. “A man who spends his time dealing with calamity all the time should have the right to take some time away and maybe catch a few nice fish. I’m sorry I got in the way of that.
“I’ve known for quite some time that in this life it’s not about the ones who go down, it’s about the ones who lift them back up again. Chief Young did that for me.”