STRAWBERRY PLAINS, Tenn. — In February, the Morton family and three Rural Metro firefighters in Strawberry Plains met for the first time, but under emergency circumstances.
Jerry Morton had just gotten home from work and finished dinner on Feb. 22 when his wife Amy Morton saw him go unconscious and start gasping in his chair.
This was Amy's worst nightmare, but her CPR knowledge kicked into action.
“I just always tried to be prepared because it is one of my biggest worries," Amy said. "And one of the scenarios that I had planned out in my head actually happened.”
She put him on the floor and started chest compressions as she dialed 911 and put them on speaker phone.
“At the time, I didn’t know how serious the situation was," Amy said. "All I knew was to just act.”
Amy said the firefighters didn't give her a chance to get tired from doing compressions because they arrived so quickly.
"Once they got there, they took over and me and my daughter went to the bedroom and instantly started praying,” Amy said.
The Rural Metro firefighters, James Asbury, Gage Seymour, and Billy Winship, say the chest compressions Amy administered before they got there saved Jerry's life.
"I think without her it would have been a different outcome," Winship said.
"We could see God working through the paramedics and everyone," Amy explained.
Amy had previous CPR training through her job. Her employer sponsored a training session for the office.
This is something firefighters wish everyone would do.
"A lot of people are intimidated by it but it's very simple," Asbury said. "It's tiring, but it's simple."
Not too long ago, the firefighters received a letter in the mail thanking them for all they did for Jerry. Because of them, Amy said in the note, he is making a full recovery, which his doctors claimed was a miracle.
Asbury read the note aloud and it took him back to that day.
"Because of you I have my husband and our 3-year-old daughter has her daddy," Asbury read from the note.
The firefighters and Morton family made a plan to meet up so they could be reunited face to face after that night in February.
"He looked way different than the last time we saw him. It's very heartwarming," Winship said.
This meeting was important for Amy and Jerry.
"We just had to thank them for everything that they did for us," Amy said. "I don't think he'd be here without their quick response."
A simple thanks goes a long way in an often thankless job.
"It's overwhelming, like the family said," Seymour said. "It's not often that this happens or somebody comes back to thank us."
As part of National Emergency Services week, there will be many CPR classes held throughout the area. For a full list of those classes, click here.