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BFD, Red Cross Recognize Bloomington Heroes

BLOOMINGTON - For five newly minted local heroes in Bloomington, taking action through CPR saved lives.
BLOOMINGTON - It can happen in a moment, and it’s often when you least expect it. For five newly minted local heroes in Bloomington, taking action through CPR helped save lives.

It also brought them recognition from American Red Cross and the fire department, and it's now a moment they'll never forget.

"When I was performing CPR and using the AED, I went back into the classroom in my head, and I think everyone should have that and have that knowledge before having to do it,” said Mary Shear.

Mary Shear still can't believe that she's being recognized by the Bloomington Fire Department for helping save a life at work, with training she'd learned numerous times.

"When you have to actually do it, it gets your heart pumping, your adrenaline going,” said Shear. “That moment when you put that AED on and it tells you to shock, you kind of just get that little bit of panic.”

"It's something we prepare for, and we have in our emergency protocols in place, but it's something we hope we never have to use,” said her co-worker Devon Flemmang.

In late February, Shear was working at the Illinois Farm Bureau when she and Flemmang saw a fellow co-worker collapse outside of their office.

"We didn't really pause. The rest of it felt like we were very much in some weird alternate universe, but it felt like it was going quickly,” said Shear.

"It felt like it took forever, it was probably just a matter of minutes really,” said Flemmang.

In January, Caryl Hoobler had to call 9-1-1 after a maintenance worker passed out in her office at the Bloomington Housing Authority. Her co-workers, Chuck Helbig and Carlos Diaz began administering CPR, while help was en route.

"Took the call, they told me what to do, and instructed one of the gentlemen to hold the head up, check the mouth, make sure nothing was in the mouth,” said Hoobler.

When help arrived, Hoobler knew their actions had saved a life.
"It's very emotional to think about. It's wonderful to see him here with us. So, yeah, it's still a very emotional time,” said Hoobler.

And being recognized by their peers, and even seeing their friends back at work is rewarding in itself.

“It feels great to feel like we made a difference,” said Flemmang.

Each hero received a medal and certificate from the fire department.

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