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Virginia Magistrates Association's Magistrate Spotlight

Spotlight On:

James Creighton, District 22/Region 2

Magistrate James Creighton

On an evening shift in June, Magistrate James Creighton was sitting in the Franklin
County office. Two deputies brought an arrestee into booking in front of the magistrate’s 
window. The man was handcuffed to the bench, and the deputies stood nearby. No one else was in the area. Suddenly, the man became unresponsive. The deputies uncuffed him and laid him on the floor.

“He’s not breathing,” said one of the deputies. Magistrate Creighton called dispatch. As the deputies attempted to administer Narcan, the man’s eyes rolled back into his head. His face turned dark blue. At this point, Magistrate Creighton’s Fire/EMT experience kicked in. He jumped out of his chair and ran to booking.

Kneeling beside the unconscious man, Magistrate Creighton confirmed he was not
breathing. He also had no pulse. He was dying.


Magistrate Creighton began CPR. Urgently, he called out, “Get the AED from the wall!” As one of the deputies took over CPR, Magistrate Creighton placed the AED on the man. When he started coughing, Magistrate Creighton checked for a pulse. His heart was beating! He had resumed breathing, too, but was still unconscious.

With the deputies’ help, Magistrate Creighton rolled the man onto his side as he started to vomit. Finally, EMS arrived on scene. Magistrate Creighton told them what had happened.

One of the EMS workers said, “Magistrate Creighton, you don’t look good.”
“I’m fine,” he replied.
“No, really, you don’t look good.”
“I’m fine.”
“No, you’re not. You need to be checked out,” the EMS worker insisted.


Indeed, Magistrate Creighton was not fine. He was suffering a cardiac event due to the exertion of his resuscitation efforts. He was transported to the hospital – the same hospital as the man whose life he saved.


Magistrate Creighton soon recovered and eagerly returned to work. He loves his job.

He loves helping others. And, although it doesn’t usually present the opportunity to save a life, helping others is what magistrates do every day.

Congratulations Magistrate Creighton and Thank You!

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