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Quick thinking, immediate action by personal trainers saves a woman's life during St. James Club fitness class

A typical Saturday group fitness class turned into a life-saving rescue and a first for two employees.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A woman is alive tonight thanks to the quick actions of some strangers.

Over the weekend, two women stepped in after a woman fell off of gym equipment at the St. James Club in west Toledo.

At the time, they didn't know what was happening, but they've since learned the woman was actually having a heart attack.

They say this was a scary experience as a typical Saturday group fitness class turned into a life-saving rescue and a first for both of them.

"I heard a thud and I heard a 'ma'am are you okay?'" personal trainer Erin Mills said.

"At this point, I looked at her face and I knew we had to take action immediately," personal trainer Ashley Seyfried said. 

"She was completely non-responsive, already turning blue," Mills said.

"I said 'Erin start compressions, I'm going to grab the AED, we need to get this started,'" Seyfried said.

Medical emergencies can happen anywhere and when it does, every second counts.

"It feels a lot longer in the moment than I'm sure it actually was," Mills said. "I hear that the EMTs were very quick to get here, but it felt like forever to me."

Mills says the only thing going through her mind was keeping the woman alive.

Both employees say they've had to make 911 calls before and helped with other injuries, but nothing to this extent.

"The main thing is to stay calm and if she's not breathing, get that AED on her or him," Seyfried said. "Once that was attached, I felt a little bit of relief."

They say the woman was having a heart attack at the time, she's now recovering.

And these personal trainers are now hoping others understand the importance of knowing the basics of CPR and using an AED - an automated external defibrillator - used in sudden cardiac arrests.

RELATED: TFD: CPR skills can save lives before EMS can arrive

"[The AED device] tells you what you need to do, if you need to continue compressions or if the person needs to be shocked," Mills said. "But it's a very scary moment and some people freak out and they are scared of the AED or they're scared to help someone."

"It's more comfortable, even though you know what you're doing, you have someone else to fall back on for assistance. I think no matter where you at, where you're working, what you do, it's important to be [CPR] certified," Seyfried said. 

Both of the trainers say this could have happened to anyone and that knowing what to do in this type of situation is what saved the woman's life.

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