Florida real estate agent Laura Calhoun was freshening up a property when an emergency forced her to put her life-saving skills to use.
Calhoun, who works at Inlet Beach’s Hilary & Reverie, was freshening up the flower beds at one of her listings when she decided to introduce herself to a neighbor next door. They spent a couple of minutes talking about real estate when, suddenly, the neighbor collapsed to the floor.
After finding the man unresponsive and struggling to breathe, Calhoun immediately called 911 and, as instructed by the operator, performed chest compressions until the medics arrived — she knew how to do it properly from the CPR training she had received earlier in her life.
“My father had a heart condition and my mother made sure my sister and I were all trained in CPR from a young age,” Calhoun told Inman.
The paramedics arrived in less than 10 minutes and were able to reach the hospital in time to start treating the man. He is still there, struggling for his life, Calhoun said. (After the paramedics arrived, she also contacted the listing’s owners and, through them, reached the neighbor’s wife to tell her what happened.)
The experience caused many in the local community to not only praise Calhoun but also consider whether they would have panicked in a similar situation. As a result of her experience, Hilary & Reverie is planning to implement a free CPR training course for all of its agents.
“It goes back to serving our community and what better way to serve than to be prepared,” Corey Marie Birger, the brokerage’s spokesperson, told Inman. “We would love to see this set a precedence for other brokerages nationwide to offer training and raise awareness, and ultimately to be the best neighbors in our communities that we can be.”
The course, which will be done in partnership with the local fire department, may start getting rolled out as early as next week.
While the man made it to the hospital due to Calhoun’s quick thinking, she is uncomfortable with the increased attention and descriptions of heroism. Instead, she advises agents everywhere to look into what they know about CPR as basic knowledge can help people be prepared should a similar situation arise.
“When you consider the amount of time that agents spend with clients and the general public, the likelihood of this type of situation isn’t small,” Calhoun said. “CPR isn’t difficult and you never know when you will need it.”