Local heroes step in to help
by Becky Nixon
Even when small towns grow up as Woodinville has grown in the past decade, the attitude of helping strangers without a second thought happens with seeming regularity.
Luckily for a Woodinville resident, three bystanders jumped into action in front of Woodinville's Office Max store to save his life.
On Friday, Dec. 26, Office Max employee Cal Dukes was taking a break outside the store when he noticed a man looking very pale and shaky.
Valeri Brice was coming from Rite Aid and noticed Cal talking to the man when suddenly the man collapsed. Cal, behind the bars outside the store, tried to catch the man, but he fell, striking his head. Cal, using his voice activated cell phone, said "Police," and 911 was called. Valeri ran over, noticed the man had turned blue, and ran inside Office Max to get her husband, 68-year-old Herb Brice, who once outside noticed the victim's color had turned an alarming shade of yellowish-brown. Herb immediately began to check for vital signs and finding no pulse began CPR with compressions to the chest. Herb got a pulse back and the man was revived but was disoriented and didn't know what had happened.
Everyone involved stayed with the victim until the aid car arrived.
Herb Brice is a retired Seattle City Light line crew foreman with 37 years of CPR training he had to renew each year with the Seattle Fire Department because he worked on the electrical lines.
"I performed CPR because I could not get a pulse and he wasn't breathing. I know if you can get to them (victims) in the first three minutes you have a chance of saving them," said Herb.
"I knew my husband would be the one to help this man," said Valeri. Valeri commended Office Max operations manager Dukes on his caring inquiry to the victim, and his trying to catch him when he fell.
"Cal saw the man in trouble, and he tried hard to catch him, but the victim was behind the bars and he couldn't quite get his hands on him," said Valeri.
The victim has an ongoing medical condition and is doing fine, but was not wearing medical alert identification.
"The thing about CPR in any situation is that it can never hurt a victim (if done properly)," said Valeri.
Herb Brice will receive hero recognition at the Woodinville Council meeting Jan. 22.