How To Save A Life: Is Giffords’ Intern A Hero?

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REUTERS/Eric Thayer

He says no, but NewsFeed thinks he definitely fits the bill. 

Daniel Hernandez, a 20-year-old student from the University of Arizona, had been interning for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords for merely five days before the shooting Saturday morning that left six people dead and the congresswoman fighting for her life. Yet despite being the newbie, it was Hernandez who the first to rush to Giffords’ aid after she was shot in the head.

(More on TIME.com: Why Are the Mentally Ill Still Bearing Arms?)

This morning on “The Early Show,” Hernandez, who had formerly trained as a certified nurse’s assistant, described his quick-thinking after bullets were fired into the crowd outside a Tucson grocery store–his first actions were to run towards the sound of gunfire and check on those who’d been struck.

After Hernandez realized that Giffords had been shot in the head, he said she became his top priority.

(More on TIME.com: What Motivated Giffords’ Shooter?)

“She was slumped over, but in the position she was in, there was some danger of asphyxiation just because of the way she was lying in her own blood,” he said. “So I wanted to make sure that at first we could get her in a position so that she could breathe properly. Once she was propped up against my chest and she could breathe properly, [I began] applying pressure to the wound to make sure that we could stem the blood loss.”

(More on TIME.com: Did Violent Rhetoric Contribute to the Attack in Tucson?)

Hernandez then stayed with Giffords until paramedics arrived. People are already crediting the remarkable fact that Giffords has managed to survive a gunshot wound through the brain with his quick thinking and attention.

Hernandez doesn’t seem to feel that he’s warranted hero status however. “[T]he real heroes are people like Congresswoman Giffords, who have dedicated their lives to public service and helping others,” he told “The Early Show.”

Which NewsFeed thinks is a pretty hero-esque thing to say. (via CBS)

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