News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, September 1, 2010
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---Sometimes all it takes to be a hero is being in the right place at the right time. It also helps if you know what to do when somebody's life is on the line. September's Time To Care Award winners are a couple of local men who make the perfect life-saving team.
Our story takes us to the campus of Aiken Tech. Royce Pittman is spending this July Day in computer class.
"Oh, just sittin' doing Microsoft Access," he recalls.
Professor Clint Wiggins was in an office down the hall.
"And I look out here and there's nobody in the hall," Wiggins says. "I look out here and there's a lady laying down in the hall. Yes sir, right here," he says pointing to the spot on the floor.
The professor yelled for someone to call 9-1-1 and then he made another call for help, running into the nearest classroom.
"Professor Wiggins busts in the door, 'Does anybody know CPR?' " Pittman remembers. "I'm like, 'I was in the Army, an LPN.' I'm halfway to her. The young lady was laying here in the hallway and no pulse, not breathing."
Turns out the professor could not have picked a better classroom. With a head full of curly blond hair, Royce looks more like a college student than an Army medic, but don't let the long hair fool you. Royce was ready for action.
"In 1992 I went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina," Royce says. "And that's where I received a year's worth of LPN school and got certified."
That's about 20 years of Army medical training, and it was about to come in very handy.
Professor Wiggins picks up the story.
"So he started breathing and I started doing compressions. And it was about 2 or 3. She snapped out. She woke right up. I was like, 'What did I just do?'"
Unlike the Army medic, the Aiken Tech professor had never been in the situation before.
"When it happened I didn't think about it," Wiggins says. "I didn't have time to think about it. But about 30 minutes later I got in my truck and went to get something to eat and thought, 'Oh my gosh, what did I just do?'"
But he happened to find a partner with a world of experience that comes from being a combat medic from working all around the world.
"From Honduras to Korea to Germany, this is what we do," Pittman says.
The victim started breathing again just as paramedics got to the campus. Royce says it's simple, really. He was meant to be here.
"To come all the way from Evans, Georgia to come to school here at Aiken Tech," he says. "You know, we are put in places for a reason."
The professor says he's not planning to make any career changes.
"I think I'm done with the medical career. That's it," Wiggins says with a laugh.
Royce Pittman, on the other hand, is sticking with it. He's on his way to a nursing degree and working to be accepted in the LPN to RN program. Eventually he wants to teach.
Royce ran into the woman he saved in the Aiken Tech Bookstore recently. She's back at school and doing well.
We want to thank our Time To Care partners who make this award possible: Subway, Troy University and Ashley Furniture. If you want to nominate someone for our Time To Care Award, you can do that right here.