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What Does it Mean to Be Prepared?
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What does it mean to "Be Prepared”?

Here is one scout’s experience


It was normal school day but June 11 was only a week before the end of the school year.  Every student was anticipating a great summer vacation. As a 17 year-old junior at Forest Park High School, Nickolas Guernsey was one of those students. His summer plans included attending the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree for the first time, and other activities as a Life Scout with Troop 35 and Den Chief with Pack 117. The Life Scout would be working on completing some merit badges and contemplating his Eagle Project and the Den Chief would be working with cub scouts in their den meetings. It was 6:40 am and he was waiting at his bus stop in the Southbridge Community near Dumfries, VA. As he walked across the parking lot to the bus stop, he noticed a car in the traffic loop of his old Swans Creek elementary school run over the curb and on to the sidewalk. The driver’s teenage son exited the car and began calling 911. A crowd of by-standers quickly gathered. T


his is when Nick’s scout first aid, emergency preparedness and CPR training and the admonitions of his scout leaders to "be prepared” became real. He ran across the parking lot to the car, assessed the situation and saw that nobody was doing anything to help the man. That is when Nick stepped up to the task. With help from a by-stander they were able to pull him out of the car and lay him down on the ground.  The man was not breathing, had no air-way obstruction, and had no pulse – HEART ATTACK!  No one in the crowd, adults or students, stepped forward or knew what to do. He had someone monitor the man’s pulse while he began performing CPR.  The huge surge of adrenaline kept him focused. He continued performing CPR for about 10 minutes until Emergency Medical Technicians arrived.


The EMTs took over CPR and administered the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). After about 40 minutes the man was transported by ambulance to the hospital. The EMTs left in the ambulance with the victim but Nick stayed with the man’s teenage son until a family friend arrived and took him to the same hospital. Later that day the son contacted Nick to tell him that his father was stabilized but had three blocked arteries. But most importantly he told Nick that his father would not have made it had it not been for Nick’s quick action. The man recovered following surgery and is able to be with his family.


All of this was caught on the school’s security camera and was documented in a letter from the Swans Creek principal, Barry Rosenberg. In addition the Prince William County’s Chief of the Department of Fire and Rescue commended Nick’s quick action.  Chief Kevin McGee’s letter cited Nick for his, "heroic act of performing CPR on a stranger and contributing to the victim’s resuscitation should be considered by the Boy Scouts of America for the highest recognition bestowed upon their members for lifesaving achievement.”


On September 12 the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (BoS) recognized and commended Nick Guernsey for his Act of Heroism in a ceremony. BoS Chairman Corey A. Stewart, an Eagle Scout himself, was quoted as saying, "I just can’t tell you what an inspiration you are to all of us. This is a real special day for all of us to be able to recognize you today.” The final recognition came at a Troop 35 Court of Honor on November 6 where Nick was presented the BSA National Medal of Merit by Occoquan District Committee Chairman, Alonzo Zamora. Most of us will live our lives and never have the opportunity to save someone’s life. But Nick is one scout who has first-hand experience and real understanding of the meaning of our BSA Motto. Are you prepared?


Nick Saves a Life!

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