Firefighter Saves Life at Fishing Tournament

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During a High School Fishing Association bass tournament at famed Lake Guntersville last weekend, local firefighter Shane Mansell did something heroic—and it had nothing to do with bass fishing. 

While setting up tents and grilling hot dogs for the anglers, Phil Powell, who was there to support his 14-year-old son, knew something wasn’t right. After asking a nearby friend to seek help, Powell blacked out. He was in the middle of a heart attack. 

By the time Russelville firefighter Shane Mansell, who was also helping at the tournament, reached Powell, he knew the situation was life-threatening. He immediately called 911 for a helicopter. While the emergency crews were en route, Mansell pulled the 57-year-old from his chair and began intense chest compressions. 

Powell had no pulse, but thanks to the quick response of park rangers and an automated external defribrillator, he came back after just one shock. As he was being loaded into the air ambulance, Powell was sitting up and talking. 

Mansell visited Powell in the hospital that night and says he’s going to be just fine. In fact, he will be at his son’s tournament next weekend. 

“I told him between the electrocution and him (with the chest compressions), I didn’t know which one was worse,†Powell told Times Daily’s Tom Smith, who was first to break the story. “Every time I laugh, I hurt, and I think of Shane. God bless him because he was there and saved my life.â€