Robert Milton and Betsy Smith stand together at Saturday's ceremony.

Robert Milton and Betsy Smith stand together at Saturday's ceremony.

Prince Rupert’s Betsy Smith honoured for saving life

On August 4, Betsy Smith was honoured by the BC Ambulance Service for saving her partner's life after he suffered a cardiac arrest.



It started out as a nightmare; Prince Rupert’s Betsy Smith noticed her partner of 17 years, Robert Milton, wasn’t breathing. A situation Smith had already been through before, that didn’t end well. But what at first seemed like a nightmare turned out to a heroic story of what people are capable of in an emergency. Not only is Milton alive and well today, the BC Ambulance Service has also honoured Smith with the Vital Link award over the weekend for her actions.

“This was round two for my mother,” says Betsy’s daughter Violet Baker. “She had tried to revive my father who died of a heart attack in 1991. Even without knowing how to do CPR, this time, she was much more collected.”

On April 29, 2012, Milton was lying in bed when Smith noticed that his breathing patterns had changed, and then there was silence; he had stopped breathing completely. She immediately called 9-1-1 and the BC Ambulance Service dispatcher began giving her instructions to begin cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A terrifying task for Smith to do considering the last time she was in this situation she was not able to save her husband.

“Betsy Smith performed CPR for approximately 10 minutes while paramedics were en route,” says paramedic Mike Sorensen, who was one of the paramedics who responded to the call on April 29. “The actions of bystanders during those first critical minutes are so important to the survival and recovery of cardiac patients.”

When BC Ambulance Service paramedics and Fire Department first responders arrived to the scene they administered two shocks to Milton’s heart before transporting him to the hospital.

Although Milton was in the hospital for around a month after his cardiac arrest, today he is alive and well thanks to his partner’s quick actions.

“I don’t want to be thought of as a hero, it’s just nice to know that I’ve got my sweetie with me because of what I did,” Smith told The Prince Rupert Northern View.

On Saturday, August 4, there was a Vital Link award ceremony held at the BC Ambulance Service Station in Prince Rupert. In attendance was BC Ambulance Service dispatchers and paramedics, Fire Department first responders and plenty of Smith and Milton’s proud family members. Smith said she never expected to be recognized for something like this in her life, and will treasure her award.

Each year there are approximately 50 Community Awards presented by the BCAS to thank members of the public for performing bystander CPR and quickly responding to the needs of others in an emergency.

The BCAS estimates that they attend around 2,400 to 2,800 cardiac arrests a year in the province, with only 12 per cent of British Columbians who suffer a cardiac arrest surviving.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CIHL games for the 2020-2021season like this one between the Rupert Rampage and the Terrace River Kings on Feb. 21, 2020, have been cancelled due to the global pandemic. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Rupert Rampage season cancelled amidst global pandemic

Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season - open to exhibition games if possible

Jennifer Rice is sworn into legislature as NDP BC Northcoast MLA via online ceremonies on Nov. 24 by Premier John Horgan and Kate Ryan-Lloyd clerk of the legislature. (Photo supplied)
Jennifer Rice sworn in as NDP North Coast MLA

BC legislature has highest women governed caucus in Canadian history

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is once again among the sector’s highest environmental performers in the Green Marine environmental certification program. (Photo courtesy PRPA)
Environmental excellence streak continues for Prince Rupert Port Authority

PRPA graded among the highest achievers in Green Marine program

Paving and sidewalk cost replacements being scheduled for 2021 are doubled that of 2019 but remain status quo for 2020 according to Prince Rupert chief financial officer, Corrine Bomben at a regular council meeting on Nov. 23. (Photo: K-J Millar/ The Northern View?
City begins to plan acquisition and construction for capital projects for 2021

Prince Rupert water, sewer, solid waste and paving are being scheduled for 2021

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read