Safety Manager Neil Brittain Helps Save a Life on the Job

March 21, 2022

Safety is a cornerstone business value at Hill & Wilkinson. We expect safety to be given the highest priority for our employees, subcontractors, and jobsite operations. Our emphasis on safety was highlighted, and the procedures we have in place were put into action when the preparedness of someone on our staff helped save a man’s life.

The morning of February 25th, 2022, a foreman at the Shield Ranch project in Austin, Texas went into sudden cardiac arrest. The emergency action plan was immediately put into effect and the superintendent was notified. Our Safety Manager, Neil Brittain, was onsite at the time of the incident and informed of the situation unfolding at the gate. Neil grabbed the AED and raced to the scene in his vehicle. Upon arrival, the victim was unconscious in his car. While another person on site was on the phone with 9-1-1, Neil checked for a pulse and didn’t find one. Neil then lifted the foreman out of the SUV and calmly, without hesitation, began hooking up the AED. The AED analyzed the heart rhythm and confirmed there was no pulse. “No rhythm detected. Begin CPR,” the AED instructed. Neil immediately began compressions and continued to perform CPR for five minutes. He called out his reps and rescue breaths so the 9-1-1 operator could hear what was happening.

EMS arrived on the scene and hooked up their AED to the patient while Neil finished his round of compressions. Neil and medics switched during the rescue breath sequence and, during the turnover, the patient came back to life and sat up on his own accord. He looked over at Neil, who gave him a thumbs up, before he then went into what the paramedics called Ventricular Fibrillation and flatlined. Shocks were delivered, and the patient was revived again.

There were many factors at play in this situation. However, the medics believe that if Neil had not acted how and when he did, the patient would not have survived. They told Neil numerous times that he saved the man’s life and that they had never seen someone come back like that before. The patient was transported to the hospital via Starflite and made a full recovery.

Our values as a company are exemplified in the H&W Way, which is to act with integrity, do the right thing when no one is looking, and put the team before yourself. Neil is living and leading the H&W Way by being proactive about safety on the job!