Roanoke County paramedic saves baby, is named Red Cross hero

By Lindsey Ward - Anchor

Being a hero has no boundaries.

We tell you the story of this year's Red Cross Emergency Responder Hero.

He's a Roanoke County paramedic and firefighter, and even on a day off, he saved a life.

Andrew Goodpasture has worked on an ambulance in Roanoke County for eight years, helping save numerous lives.

But an incident that happened during an out-of-town hunting trip in January 2017 was unlike any other.

"So I was in the middle of nowhere, out of town. I do a lot of hunting,” Goodpasture said. “Me and a couple of buddies went on a goose hunt.”

It was supposed to be a fun day with the guys. But then something happened.

“I look over, and I saw something out of the corner of my eye, just didn't look right. I was, like, ‘Was that lady getting ready to do CPR on a baby?’ My buddy said, ‘No, I think she was just changing his diaper,'” said Goodpasture.  

They drove for a few minutes, but he just couldn't shake what he had seen.

“I'm, like, just turn around to be on the safe side,” Goodpasture said. “The lady, the grandmother of the child, had the baby out and the baby was on the trunk of the vehicle. I immediately just jumped out, told the lady, ‘Hey, I'm a prepared medic. Let me help,’” Goodpasture said.

He checked for a pulse and found nothing.

When the baby's parents called 911, he got on the phone with dispatch.

“I was, like, 'Give me the phone, so I can tell them what's going on.' Got on the phone. ‘Hello, I'm a paramedic with Roanoke County. This is ALS critical in progress. We have a 6-month-old, no pulse, not breathing. Parents say it might be an accidental overdose on medication,'" Goodpasture said.  

With no equipment, he started to perform basic CPR until an ambulance arrived.

“After a couple of minutes, we do another pulse check and I saw the child's hand move and I was, like, ‘Wait a minute. Stop.’ (I) feel for a pulse. I feel a pulse,” Goodpasture said.

After the ambulance pulled up, another paramedic administered Narcan to the baby, who, Goodpasture said, eventually made a full recovery.

Despite his lifesaving CPR, Goodpasture said, had the grandmother not pulled the child out of the car, there could have been a different ending.

“I'm just glad that I was there, but I give kudos to the grandmother. Without her doing that, I would've never seen it and would've drove on by. The way I look at it, she's the real difference-maker,” he said.

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