By Bill Shields

NORTON (CBS) — About 10 days ago, in a quiet residential street in Norton, Chris Vittorini was heading home. Suddenly, he saw a man laying in a front yard with a couple of people standing over him.

Vittorini got out, walked over and was horrified at what he saw.

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“The gentleman’s face was blue and purple, and you could tell he wasn’t breathing,” he said.

So Vittorini started performing CPR on the man, ignoring the risk of contracting coronavirus.

”I never thought about it. My goal was to help that guy in any way I could,” he said.

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Vittorini kept up the chest compressions for seven minutes until EMTs arrived. They got the man breathing again, but Vittorini had kept air flowing and blood moving with CPR.

“They said that he had a pulse and right then I got chills through my body,” Vittorini said. “It was a really good feeling.”

Chris Vittorini with his award from the Norton Fire Department. (Photo Courtesy: Chris Vittorini)

“He didn’t even know this person. That’s why it makes it even more compelling that he stopped and helped,” said Norton Fire Chief Benton Keene.

The man survived, thanks in large part to Vittorini. The fire department gave Vittorini an award Wednesday.

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“He’s a true hero,” Keene said. “In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic he acted in good faith.”

Bill Shields