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EMT saves 8-year-old boy stuck in gun safe

Elizabeth Poff arrived at a gun store and found the boy locked in the safe with no one at the store able to open it

By EMS1 Staff

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — An EMT rescued a boy from a gun safe after employees at a store were unable to free him.

The Register-Herald reported that Elizabeth Poff arrived at the gun store, Rural King, and got on her knees to begin speaking to the boy as her partner, James Rhoton, got an oxygen tank.

“I had never seen anything like that before,” Poff said. “When I got there, he had been in there just a few minutes. They had found a hole in the bottom of the safe.”

Poff said the hole was big enough for oxygen to get through, but they needed to clear the fireproof lining inside.

“I immediately asked him if he was breathing OK and if he was hurt,” Poff said. She added that the boy said he was OK, but he could not stand up in the safe.

“He said he didn’t have a lot of room and his mom said he was pretty tall for his age,” she said. “He admitted he was scared.”

Poff stuck a tube inside and pumped oxygen to the boy.

“I knew he could breathe, but it just helps to have an extra air flow,” she said.

Poff said a crowd gathered around the store to watch the incident, and the boy was freed by using the Jaws of Life to open the door after being locked inside for about 30 minutes.

West Virginia State Trooper Joey Ellison was also at the scene, and praised the work of the first responders.

“They didn’t really need me,” he said. “She talked to the kid the whole time. She did really good.”