Photo Gallery | Saying thanks for saving a life
SALISBURY - It was a reunion borne of near tragedy, and the chance for a grateful family and man to thank his rescuers.
On Tuesday a man who had been on the brink of death from a heart attack in September visited Rowan Regional Medical Center to meet the crew that saved his life. And that survivor, Robert Taylor, and wife Frannie choose the date of their 13th wedding anniversary with this special meeting.
The Taylors met and talked with the paramedics who revived Robert, as well as the the firefighters, police officers, emergency room workers, doctors, nurses, and technicians who all played a role in his survival.
Taylor suffered his heart attack on September 9. According to Rowan County EMS, Taylor, 62, was shopping near Lowe's, and suffered his heart attack while driving back home. Taylor's car went across the intersection of East Innes and Arlington streets before stopping on the sidewalk in front of the Burger King.
Gary Lang, a former volunteer firefighter with the Franklin Fire Department, happened to be driving by when he saw the accident. Lang pulled Taylor from the car and started CPR.
Once emergency crews arrived, they took over CPR, using the new "pit stop" method that was featured in a WBTV story in May.
"Everybody has a job," Lt. Christopher Warr of Rowan EMS told WBTV. "They focus on that job and they train on that job relentlessly until that job is perfect."
At the time firefighters from the Salisbury Fire Department and paramedics from Rowan EMS demonstrated this new technique where every one on the floor has a specific task.
"No pauses, no interruptions in CPR, that's what's been proven to save lives," Warr added.
Crew members switch out every two minutes because the constant repetition of the compressions can be very tiring.
Warr learned pit crew training from the Seattle, King County, Washington, emergency responders.
"They've got the highest cardiac arrest survival rate in the nation," said Warr.
Now Warr is teaching the technique in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.
"It is working," Warr added. "In the last two months since we've started this training we've had 17 respond to spontaneous circulation, we had between 10-15 the entire last year."
And the story of a grateful Robert and Frannie Taylor speak to the effectiveness of the technique, and the well deserved, but sometimes overlooked pat on the back for emergency responders.