Be it fate or divine intervention, sometimes a series of events unfold in perfect precision that change the outcome of a situation for the better.
That is what happened when Cartersville Police Department officer Josh Downer happened upon the scene of a serious accident recently.
Downer was off-duty Aug. 9 when he came upon the accident scene on Hwy. 411 in White and found one of the victims from the wreck who appeared to be unconscious and not breathing.
Downer began performing CPR and did so until EMS arrived on the scene and transported the victim to the hospital and survived.
According to a news release from the police department, EMS responders said if Downer had not administered CPR, the man most likely would not have survived.
In honor of his actions, Downer was presented with a Life Saving Medal Aug. 14 during a ceremony at the Cartersville Public Safety Headquarters.
His wife Kayleigh Downer and other family and friends gathered for the ceremony, which came as a complete surprise to Downer.
Downer said he doesn’t consider himself a hero and that his actions were just a natural reaction to an emergency situation.
“Honesty, it’s just me doing my job,” Downer said “This [award] honestly was not something I expected.”
Downer, who also serves as a reserve in the Army National Guard, said his training as a police officer played a crucial role in his ability to respond on that Friday morning.
The Bartow County resident, who grew up in Kingston and Adairsville, has been with the police department since November of 2012 and graduated from the police academy in March of this year.
Downer said a career in law enforcement has always been a dream and he is glad to be able to serve the community.
“It’s something that I’ve always had a passion for,” Downer said.
Chief Thomas Culpepper said Downer is the type of officer he is glad to have on the force.
“If I had 100 [officers] like that I can’t imagine how well-served the community would be,” Culpepper said. “He’s been a good fit for us. I see great things in the future for him.”
Culpepper said he is glad Downer was able to step in at the right time.
“I am very proud of Officer Downer’s reaction to this unfortunate situation,” Culpepper said. “Although relatively new to law enforcement, Officer Downer’s training enabled him to take action without hesitation.”