Red Cross Real Heroes: Justin Choiniere 

The week of November 22nd TV5 is going to introduce you to some of the Red Cross Real Hero award winners.Stories of neighbors helping neighbors, strangers coming together in a time of need.Justin left Hermon High School on that late November afternoon and decided to go and see his friend, they called another friend to join them, but when he arrived, something seemed wrong.”Went out to see what was going on with Jacob, he told me that he thought Johnna had gone off the bridge so we jumped in his truck, I really though he was just playing with me.””You wouldn’t have known anything it was so far down you probably would have seen the snowmobile bridge tore up but you know you could have thought somebody vandalized it or something, but you wouldn’t have ever been able to see the car.”Justin has known Johnna Kenney since middle school and it didn’t take long to recognize her car, even with it upside down.”Immediately when I saw the car I yelled back to Jacob you got to call 911.”Justin then made his way down the steep embankment to the waters edge.”She was screaming that somebody please help her, she knew she was going to die and then I jumped into the water and told her to hold on but she couldn’t hear me.””The first step I took brought me up to my knee, the second one brought me up to my waist, I could feel the current of the water.””It happened really quickly, and she was still screaming so I was trying to figure out how I was going to get the door open. So I just figured I’d try the door handle and it actually ended up working, I was able to open the door and then I grabbed her as soon as I got her out of the water I has asked her if anybody was with her.”Justin then put his Emergency Medical Training to work, he checked her vitals and made sure she stayed still and calm until help could arrive.”She was thanking me and gave me a big hug for pulling her out and then she wanted to go see her dad because her dad lived down the road from the accident and I told her that she couldn’t move, she was going to have to stay here until the ambulance arrived, and she couldn’t really believe what happened she was really in shock.”Justin was also in shock, it took hours for what happened to actually sink in, and then he relived the moments, awake or in his sleep for weeks after.”Probably for about a month, month and a half all I could hear was her voice in my head, everywhere, I’d go to sleep at night and I could picture it, I would wake up and hear her screaming, even if I’m sitting in class if I was at home it would just pop into my head so year it kind of stuck with me for a while.”Justin says now a year later he can still feel the cold of the water, but faced with the same situation he’d jump back in to help someone in a heart beat.”If you ever get the chance to actually help somebody, that’s in distress, I honestly wouldn’t think twice whether it was a stranger, a family member, a best friend or what ever, that’s something that you’ll, it’s a great feeling to save somebody’s life, it really is, no matter who it is or how old they are it’s just a feeling that not a lot of people get to have.”