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Virginia Tech students credited with saving man in cardiac arrest

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - A Blacksburg business honored a group of people who saved the life of one of its employees.

Edmund Hughes wasn't in his usual Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad vehicle when the call came.

"I figured I was really close," he said. "That I could probably get there before the ambulance."

The Virginia Tech student and volunteer rescue squad member was working with the design team at the Virginia Tech Ware Lab when the notification came across his watch, a cardiac arrest across from campus at The Edge apartment homes.

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"I ran outside, jumped on my bike and biked from the Ware Lab over to here," Hughes said.

He ran out on that cold December morning wearing only a t-shirt.

Brenda Flack was working in her office at The Edge.

"My supervisor came in and basically said turn your computer off and come with me," she explained.

She said she knew right away. It was her husband, Dennis Flack, an HVAC technician, who worked at The Edge as well. He was in the middle of his fourth heart attack.

Dennis Flack
Dennis Flack

"I think they shocked him four times between here and the hospital," Brenda said.

It wasn't until the next day she learned exactly how fortunate he was.

"They said the students, even the doctor said their quick reaction and the gentleman on the bicycle who was with the rescue squad. It was just like he was meant to be in that area," she said.

Four ladies, all Virginia Tech juniors, Kalli Brooks, Heather Uzer, Alison Morehead and Christina Wood, spotted Dennis as they walked to class. They called 911.

Edmund arrived in minutes.

"I checked for a pulse and didn't see a pulse so I pulled him out on the sidewalk and started CPR," Edmund recalled.

He performed CPR until his colleagues at the Blacksburg Rescue Squad arrived and took over.

"If it wasn't for that, he (Dennis) wouldn't be here," Brenda said with tears in her eyes.

Dennis is here, too shy to talk on camera, but alive and doing well thanks to a number of people in the right place, at the right time and with the ability to perform an often life-saving technique.

"You have to get there and you have to start it as soon as possible," Edmunds said. "That's why the public should know CPR."