DOBSON — A county employee shed tears Monday night as she hugged a senior citizen she saved with CPR recently.
The Surry County Board of Commissioners brought wellness nurse Julie Davis before the audience at Monday’s meeting to present her with a certificate of appreciation for saving the life of a man suffering cardiac arrest.
John Shelton, emergency services director, also presented Davis with a plaque from the EMS. And then Shelton said he had a guest that wanted to say thank you and escorted in Jesse Jones, the man Davis saved.
Davis shed tears as she gave Jones a hug.
Jones joked that he certainly appreciated everything she did for him that day, but she did leave him a little sore, rubbing his chest for emphasis as the audience chuckled.
Shelton described how Davis was headed to Walmart to pick up a couple of items, then swing through a nearby restaurant to get some take-out food for her, her husband Tony and their two kids.
For some reason, she felt an urge to skip the store and go straight to the restaurant there along the U.S. 601 corridor. As she walked in, she saw a man had collapsed on the floor with people starting to gather around him.
Davis rushed to his aid and began CPR while someone else called 911.
Shelton said with the EMS headquarters right off U.S. 601, the ambulance arrived quickly.
“When I arrived on the scene I found Julie doing CPR. I recognized her as one of our wellness nurses,” said Shelton. “She was doing a great job.”
Julie got his pulse back, but Jesse lost his pulse again a couple more times before the crew could get him moved just up the street to Northern Hospital of Surry County, where he was stabilized, Shelton stated. Later in the day the EMS transported Jones to Winston-Salem for further treatment.
Things just lined up very well, Shelton noted. Julie said she had been out at one of the high schools showing the teens how to do CPR so it was fresh on her mind. Then skipping the store and going right to the restaurant got her there quickly, and time is of the essence when it comes to preventing oxygen deprivation.
“There is nothing more satisfying than saving someone’s life,” said Shelton. “We were extremely happy to be able to present her with those awards and let that gentleman come to the meeting and thank her himself.”
An issue that has come up recently at town meetings for Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy finally made open session before the county board.
The commissioners voted unanimously to go along with an agreement between the two municipalities about supplying water to the eastern side of the county.
County Manager Chris Knopf explained that the county board first discussed the idea of Mount Airy sending water to Pilot Mountain in a closed session in April. Now that the two sides have hammered out an agreement, the county could choose to join in as a silent partner on the funding end.
Over the past couple of years the Pilot town board has talked about what to do with its aging water system. Rebuilding the water treatment plant would be very costly, then there are water lines that have reached their life expectancy, too, and should be replaced.
Pilot has to decide where is the best place to put its investment, said Knopf. Does it update its water lines or take on much more debt with rebuilding the plant?
With Mount Airy and Surry County sharing thirds of the debt, it makes it the most economically feasible plan for Pilot to get water from the city, Knopf figured.
The cost to do this could be close to $2 million. The county’s share would be $650,000, broken down as $32,500 for 20 years.
The county won’t have to put in additional resources for things like overseeing the project or putting the work out for bid because the municipalities will handle that, said Knopf.
The commissioners asked about state or federal funding that could help with this work.
Pilot Town Manager Michael Boaz has been spearheading the project, said county attorney Ed Woltz. “I feel confident if there’d been grant money out there, he’d have snagged it.”
When it comes to grant money, the priority goes to places where it is an issue of public safety such as tainted water, so this wouldn’t really apply, added Knopf.
Commissioner Van Tucker boiled it down to Pilot having a crumbling infrastructure where rebuilding would be far more expensive than hooking on to the line out in Holly Springs, while at the same time Mount Airy has plenty of water capacity to spare. He said it would be good for economic development in the town.
Chairman Eddie Harris said he, too, offered his full support to the project.
Woltz said there is a bit of a timeline to consider: the town needs to submit some preliminary paperwork, like memorandums of understanding from all three parties, to the state by the first week of December.
The board then voted unanimously in favor of the memorandum.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.