Luke Hugghins was able to get his emergency medical technician training paid for through the federal COVID relief measure called the American Rescue Plan Act.

This week, the Fort Dodge man put his training to work in Washington D.C, where that measure was written and approved, and likely saved a man’s life.

Hugghins was part of the Fort Dodge and Webster County delegation that went to the nation’s capital to talk to federal officials about various local projects. He went in his capacity as project manager for McClure Engineering Co., which has a key role in many infrastructure jobs.

He also serves as a volunteer EMT with the Badger Fire Department and as a part-time EMT with the Fort Dodge Fire Department.

Hugghins; his wife, Lexi; and Wade Greiman, transportation business unit leader for Snyder & Associates; were returning to the delegation’s hotel on C Street in downtown Washington Tuesday evening in an Uber car when they spotted a group of people on the sidewalk near the hotel.

According to Hugghins, it looked like an unconscious man was laying there, surrounded by six to eight friends.

“I jumped out and said ‘Hey, I’m an EMT, can I help,” he recalled.

The people gathered around the unconscious man said he had tripped on the curb and fell face-first on the pavement.

Hugghins quickly checked the man’s vital signs. He found that the man had a weak pulse and wasn’t breathing. He noticed that the man’s friends were holding his head in a way that might have been obstructing his airway.

He repositioned the man’s head by doing what’s called a jaw thrust, lifting the chin while supporting the neck.

It worked.

“He was able to take a gasp of air,” Hugghins said.

The man started to regain consciousness and took a few deep breaths.

At about that time, an ambulance arrived. Hugghins briefed the ambulance crew on what had happened.

As the ambulance crew worked, he noticed that they had the same kind of heart monitor that the Fort Dodge Fire Department uses. He was able to explain to the man’s friends what all the information on the monitor’s screens meant. He also explained what the ambulance crew was doing to treat the man.

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