Police ID two people who helped save a man in Ontario County

Updated: 08/27/2014 3:06 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 11:16 PM WHEC.com

A dramatic rescue attempt was made in Ontario County on Tuesday.

Canandaigua fire officials 19-year-old Mitchell Crist of Palmyra was walking when he spotted a man in distress out in the water. We're told Crist quickly sprang into action, jumping into the water and pulling the man to shore. A nurse, 53-year-old Robin Pacello, was nearby and started CPR.

“We had to continue their efforts, we had to continue CPR, and we had to get him up and over the rock without stopping that process,” said Canandaigua Fire Chief Mark Marentette.

It was a process that Marentette says was made easier thanks to the pair who found the victim.

“They fit in seamlessly. They followed instructions. We needed his help getting him on the board, and we needed her to continue to do CPR while we got into position,” Marentette said.

And the chief says Crist and Pacello played a key role. "Starting CPR immediately is very critical. We have no idea how long the man was down. Getting oxygen to his brain and keeping it circulating is critical, so without it his chances are slim,” said Marentette.

Marentette says this situation is a reminder, on the eve of a busy holiday weekend, about the importance of knowing CPR.

“Everyone should take CPR at Red Cross or American Heart. It’s a skill that everyone should have,” Marentette said.

The man pulled from the water, 66-year-old John Curtis Wyer of Gorham, is in ICU at Highland Hospital.

Business owners along the stretch say the victim was a regular at the restaurants there, in fact, they say he stopped in before the accident and everything seemed fine.

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