NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Seven people were honored for their life-saving actions on December 14, 2022, at the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic and Fitness Center.
Today, the North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Department presented plaques to five AFC members, and two AFC employees for their quick actions when a fellow member and friend went into cardiac arrest while using a rowing machine on December 14, 2022.
Andy Hamer was working out on a rower when he started to have trouble breathing and collapsed. His friends and fellow AFC members, along with AFC staff, rushed to perform CPR, and used an AED until crews with the North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Department could arrive.
NMB Fire Chief Garry Spain, told those receiving the award that Mr. Hamer is alive because of their knowledge of CPR, their willingness to help, and God’s guiding hand leading them in the right direction. Chief Spain acknowledged the high-level of training that Matt Gibbons, the Director of Parks and Recreation, and Melinda Chappell, the Aquatic and Fitness Operations Manager, provide for AFC staff members.
Seven people were presented the Citizen Heroism Award from the North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Department:
- Clay Nichols (AFC Member)
- Joseph Mannino (AFC Member)
- Peter Bleyer (AFC Member)
- Scott Baucom (AFC Member)
- Mendel Bell (AFC Member)
- Anastasia Thomas (AFC Employee)
- Gene Hepner (AFC Employee)
During the ceremony Mr. Hamer expressed his deepest gratitude to all for the help he was given, and said it was because of the quick actions of AFC members and staff that he was able to be at the ceremony.
The Aquatic and Fitness Center started hosting CPR classes shortly after the incident. The first one was held in February of 2023. The next one is scheduled for March 18.