Roanoke County paramedic saves life off-duty; named Red Cross hero

Drew Sizemore visiting Brooks Barnett at his station, thanking him for saving him when he choked at a Firehouse Subs. (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - A local emergency responder is being awarded for his good deed, performing the Heimlich maneuver while off duty at a sub shop.

Brooks Barnett has answered countless calls for help in the past 8 years as a paramedic and fire fighter with Roanoke County.

But in all his years saving lives, he never had to perform the Heimlich maneuver and certainly didn't think the first time would be at Firehouse Subs.

Back in December, an off-duty night eating out with family turned into an emergency when Drew Sizemore started choking.

"Honestly, if Brooks wasn't there I don't know where I would be," Sizemore explained.

"As fireman, as medics, we see it every day. That's one of the reasons that I love this job, because when you go home you feel like you've made a difference," Barnett recalled.

Barnett will be honored with the Red Cross Emergency Responder Hero award for saving Sizemore's life on March 24 at the Hotel Roanoke.