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Hats off to a paramedic who helped an 11-year-old boy

A fair is supposed to be fun, but this one turned frightening. Eleven-year-old Trace Adams was competing in the watermelon-eating contest at the Berkeley County Youth Fair.

Right in the middle of the contest, he raised his hands to his throat and signaled he was choking.

“I got really scared. I put my hands over my throat, because I knew that was what you were supposed to do and then the paramedic just jumped over the fence and tried to help me,” Trace told The Journal in Martinsburg.

The paramedic was Adam Hess.

His reaction? “Just doing my job.”

Hess passed credit to his boss at Ryneal Medical Transport, Mary Helmick, for making sure fairgoers are safe by having her staff work there every year.

“She gets no reimbursement for having people out there. She pays her employees. We’re all paid to be there, but she gets no compensation,” Hess said. “She goes through a lot of money to have those ambulances there to keep everyone safe. She’s a true hero.”

Thanks to a quick response by Hess and a generous attitude by Helmick, an 11-year-old boy remains happy and healthy.

Oh, and Trace came back to win third place.

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