LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Fairfield City Council and Mayor Steve Miller proclaimed Feb 9, 2015, to be “John Jones Day” in honor of the Fairfield High School senior who caught the attention local city officials when he expediently responded to save the life of a substitute teacher who had collapsed in class.
Jones, who is currently in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program at Recruiting Sub-Station Fairfield, Ohio, was recognized for his actions during a city council meeting.
“Whereas, the City of Fairfield is pleased to recognize John Jones, a senior at Fairfield High School, for his quick action and heroism,” Miller read from his proclamation. “It is only fitting that the City of Fairfield recognize John Jones in the following manner for his heroic and selfless actions.”
When the incident occurred, Jones was sitting in class on what would have been like any other day at school.
“I was having a conversation with a fellow student when she cut off mid-sentence and had a horror stricken look on her face,” Jones said. “I heard a thud and when I spun around, the teacher had fallen, hit her face on the table and was lying face-down motionless.”
Immediately, Jones sprang into action.
“I rolled her over slowly and held her neck to not cause any further damage,” Jones said. “I checked all her vitals, heart-rate and checked her eyes to see if they were dilated. Then I pointed directly at one of my classmate and told her to get help. Meanwhile, I lifted her up, still holding her neck and sprinted into the hallway, up the stairs and to the nurses’ office.”
School officials notified emergency paramedics, and Jones waited with the teacher until emergency medical technicians arrived to take her to the hospital where she received care.
“It was purely instinctual,” Jones said. “I didn’t really realize what I was doing until it all happened.”
Jones learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) procedures and first aid after taking a course at a local career center. Jones credits his instinctual response predominantly to his family upbringing.
Jones’s mother is a nurse, and both his father and grandfather served in the Marine Corps. Their impact on his life has driven him to enlist, and so in June, Jones is scheduled to ship to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, to embark on his path to become a Marine.
“Jones has always been good to go,” said Sgt. Ethan Millisor, Marine recruiter at RSS Fairfield, Ohio. “He is always first to help others, and we think he is going to do really well in the future.”
“I’ve always had the instinct to protect others, especially ones who cannot protect themselves,” Jones said. “I have always been kind of protective over everyone and I knew it would help me develop leadership traits.”
Jones hopes to pursue his interest in helicopters and serve in the Marine Corps as an aviation electronics technician after he graduates. In the meantime, he continues his high school education while preparing himself mentally and physically for the rigors of boot camp.
“We’re just very fortunate that he was where he was at the time of the incident,” said Billy Smith, Principal at Fairfield High School. “We are really just impressed that he had the presence of mind that he did under those circumstances.”
“We are very proud of not only the action that he took on behalf of the teacher, but we are also very proud that he has made the decision to serve in the armed forces,” Smith said. “We hold anyone who decides to serve their country in very high regards and we are happy for him because that is what he wants to do.”
Story by Sgt. Jennifer Pirante