The American Red Cross honors Watertown volunteer firefighter for his life-saving work

The American Red Cross celebrates neighbors who act as real heroes in their community. Seth Labarge was one of the ten people who was honored this year. His heroics this summer earned him the Red Cross’ Adult Good Samaritan recognition.

It was a normal day for Labarge: he left work and stopped at a corner store in Watertown, but this day was different. When he got there, someone told him a woman was on the ground and needed help.

“I put my coffee down and I ran over, noticed her lips were turning blue, no response, pulled out my phone, had someone call 911 and I started performing CPR.”

Labarge turned to a skill he learned just months before while serving as a Disaster Services Volunteer with the Red Cross. He used hands-on CPR to help save a woman’s life.

“I didn’t think that in two months I’d be performing something I was taught.”

Labarge started working with the Red Cross last December. The volunteer firefighter wanted to give back to his community, especially after his health had kept him from firefighting. What Labarge didn’t know was that months later, he would soon be in the right place at the right time.

I knew that if I did it, I could possibly save someone’s life, and if I didn’t do it and nobody was there to help, it could probably be their life being lost.

One day after saving the woman’s life at the corner store in Watertown, the two were reunited. Since then, Labarge has used his lifesaving knowledge to teach the next generation at Watertown High School. He was grateful he had the skills to spring into action to save a life and hopes to pass on those skills to more people.

“I’m not a hero you know, I don’t feel like one. I did what I was supposed to do and that was help somebody that was in need that I was raised doing, if you see somebody in need you help them out.”

Last year, Labarge and other volunteers responded to more than 280 house fires across Central and Northern New York, assisting over 250 families.