Vicksburg-area first responder trainee saves coworker’s life with CPR

Kalamazoo County

VICKSBURG, Mich. (WOOD) — A Vicksburg-area student’s quick thinking may have saved the life of someone who was dealing with a severe medical emergency.

It’s obvious Maci Crabtree is goal-oriented, given that she works at Airway Lanes while attending class at both Vicksburg High and KRESA’s Career Technical Education. She is among a handful of students at KRESA enrolled in a two-year program training them to be first responders.

“When I’m devoted to something, I’m able to work towards it, so I don’t mind having to switch back and forth,” Crabtree explained.

Last Saturday, she was truly put to the test, when she noticed one of her Airway Lanes coworkers was not feeling well.

“She was leaned up against a cabinet anyway. She just put her knees up, and then I noticed she put her head down on her hands. She started to drift a little bit. I thought maybe she was sleeping. So, I went over, knelt down next to her, tried to shake her awake a little bit, but I was getting no response,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree immediately had her fellow staff members call 911 and the coworker’s family. She continued to perform CPR compressions and breaths until EMS was right next to them.

“A billion things rushed through my head all at once, but I knew that in that moment, I had to dial in and do what I knew I was supposed to be doing,” Crabtree said. “I had to do it right, or else something could have possibly gotten a lot worse than it was.”

Coincidentally, the KRESA program Crabtree is apart of recently had a refresher course on CPR taught by their instructor and retired Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officer Brian Brusach.

He is ecstatic one his students aced this literal life-saving lesson.

“She didn’t even think about what she was doing. It was something that just came natural. She knew her compression ratio and breath ratio. She saved a life,” Brusach said. “That’s my reward. It was a huge win. It was very satisfying. I told her in the text message I was very proud of her.”

Crabtree says her coworker is doing okay.

She is considering enlisting in the Army after completing her education.

“It makes me want to do it more because now, I know I’m more capable of doing something related to it. So, obviously, there’s some reason that I’ve been interested in this,” Crabtree said.

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