LORAIN — Brandon Hite, 29, and Marcus Rivera, 26, were out with friends Thursday when they helped save two lives.
Rivera said he, Hite and their friends were singing karaoke at The Pour House at 134 Park Ave. in Amherst about 1 a.m. when they saw two men running to the back of the bar, alerting them to go to the outdoor patio. They followed the men and found a man bleeding while lying behind a fence by the patio.
Hite, a LifeCare paramedic and Elyria Township firefighter, and Rivera, a Huron County Sheriff’s Office deputy and former U.S. Marine, went into action. Another off-duty LifeCare paramedic also helped Rivera and Hite, but asked not to be named.
Rivera jumped the fence first to get to the injured man who was having trouble staying conscious. Hite said the man’s stab wounds were not clean punctures, but deep cuts through fingers and his arm, and deep muscle was hanging.
Rivera and Hite used the man’s belt to create a makeshift tourniquet and helped the man stay conscious. Within 10 minutes, LifeCare arrived. Hite said their efforts most likely saved the victim’s life.
“Who knows for sure, but we’re glad we were there to assist,” Hite said.
LifeCare could have arrived earlier, Hite said, but paramedics are only able to come when the area is deemed safe by officers.
Lorain County Sheriff’s deputies and Amherst firefighters assisted Amherst police at the scene.
Further investigation led officers to a blood trail leading to a fence gate and the rear door to Vaughnteriors Estate Sales and Vaughnteriors Gifts & More Store at 223 S. Main St., where a broken window and more blood were found.
After announcing their presence, officers heard a man shouting for help from inside Vaughnteriors. They found a 27-year-old Lorain man in the basement, also with stab wounds. Hite, Rivera and the other off-duty paramedic entered the area to give the second man first aid as well.
Hite said the second victim had two stab wounds to the face, one on the left side of the chest and another on the lower part of his abdomen. The victim was later transported to Mercy Hospital in Lorain and then was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.
The victim was transported to Amherst University Hospitals and later was flown to MetroHealth in Cleveland, according to Amherst police.
On Saturday morning, Hite said both victims were alive. The victims’ friends and family reached out and thanked the rescuers for their efforts. Rivera said the three have gotten many thanks and congratulations, but said it was just a natural response because of their training.
“Not to be modest, but we do it for a living,” Hite said.
“I just think our instincts kicked in,” Rivera said, finishing the thought.
As a paramedic, Hite said, he encounters such situations daily in his line of work. Rivera, working in law enforcement, said he has seen his share of violent injuries and victims. The two said they didn’t feel like heroes because they were only doing what they were trained to do.
“I don’tknow if we would say we were heroes,” Rivera said. “On- and off-duty, I think that’s what our job is.”
The incident remains under investigation, according to Amherst police. A message seeking further comment was left Thursday afternoon for a police department spokesman. Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting Amherst police in the investigation.