ROGERSVILLE, Ala.-It's not everyone who can honestly tell you, 'I saved someone's life,' but Slade Sartain and Kaitlyn Hendrix can, and they did. Both are high school seniors who are volunteers with the Rogersville Fire Department.
"We've had those for a few years and those young men and women play an integral part in helping save lives and property," said Rogersville Fire Department Assistant Chief Morris Lentz.
The notion of high schoolers in the fire department paid off big in March when Tyler Ezell collapsed in his home. He and his wife were just sitting there talking.
"And he stood up and fell out. He fell all the way to my feet," stated Katie Ezell.
Katie checked and said she couldn't find a pulse.
The frantic call for help was relayed to the Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department. Slade Sartain, one of their younger members, was in his personal car, nearby, and heard the call on his radio. He was only about a block away from the house and so within two minutes of the call first going out, he was not only on the scene but had started CPR.
"I walked in, she carried me to where he was. I saw Tyler on the ground, he was completely unconscious, he wasn't breathing and he didn't have a pulse," said Slade. "I just thought back to the training the fire department has given me and I started CPR on him."
Within moments, Kaitlyn arrived and alerted others that CPR was in progress. An AED was rushed in to shock Tyler's heart.
"We got some oxygen in him. We shocked him twice and we finally got a pulse back on him," said Slade.
Tyler would spend the next two weeks in the hospital. He wears a pacemaker now, but he's alive. Tuesday, he got to meet the young man who saved him. Tyler told Slade:
"I want to thank you for saving my life. You're good at what you do, keep it up."
Slade will tell you it was a team effort, and he only did what he was trained to do, just another day in the life of a firefighter. But the man whose life he saved will tell you it was a very special day.