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Oklahoma Firefighters Honored for Saving Coach's Life

Oklahoma Firefighters Honored for Saving Coach's Life

Saturday, February 4, Bobby Jackson was coaching his 9-year-old granddaughter's little league basketball game in Blanchard, Oklahoma when suddenly he collapsed on the court.

Ralph Callaway and his son Roy Callaway were both at that game to watch Roy’s daughter play. Ralph who was sitting higher up in the bleachers said "I was watching [Bobby] and I could tell something wasn't right. He looked one way telling the kids to run after the ball. Then, he hit the floor."

Ralph and Roy are both firefighters. Ralph is a Captain with the Newcastle Fire Department with 27 years of experience, while Roy is a Major at Moore Fire Department. It’s a challenge for the two to be together because they work opposite shifts, but both of them were at the Little League game on February 4.

Ralph said when he was watching Bobby he didn’t know exactly what was happening, but his 27 years of experience in emergency responses told him it was urgent.

Bobby had gone into cardiac arrest.

The Callaways made it down to the hardwood first, with bystanders racing to the floor to check on Bobby’s condition. While checking vitals and making sure someone was calling for an ambulance, Roy began administering CPR to Bobby.

Other off-duty firefighters from Blanchard and Norman were also watching the little league game that day and helped in the aid efforts.

Blanchard Fire and a McClain Grady County EMS ambulance were on their way, but Ralph knew more emergency measures needed to be taken. The firemen brought in a medical bag and a defibrillator was placed on Bobby. He was shocked twice on the floor. A bag valve mask was placed on his face to get air into his lungs.

After five excruciating minutes, the ambulance arrived. It took the EMS team only six minutes to assess Bobby, get him more treatment, and load him into the ambulance before he was rushed to Norman Regional HealthPlex. On the way to the hospital, first responders continued CPR and Bobby was shocked with a defibrillator three more times.

Once at the HealthPlex, Bobby was taken into the Emergency Department where on-call Cardiologist, Dr. Muhammad Anwar, was ready. There, Bobby was met with the best medical staff in South Central Oklahoma and he was stabilized. It had been less than two hours from when the 911 call was made to a stent being placed in Bobby’s heart. He was going to be ok.

After spending two days in the hospital under the care of the Cardiovascular ICU nurses and staff, Bobby was released to go home. His wife, Tammy, couldn't be more grateful. “When I saw him lying on the floor, I thought he wasn’t coming home with me,” Tammy said. “I’m just so incredibly grateful for the staff here at the HealthPlex.”

On Tuesday, February 21, Norman Regional hosted a reuniting ceremony bringing together the teams of people it took to have Bobby with us today.

Ralph and Roy Callaway, Blanchard firefighter Mike Domer, Norman firefighter Dusty Borror alongside McClain-Grady County EMS Paramedics, Sam McClintock and Frank Strange, as well as Blanchard firefighters Krista Brown, Jake Reid, Travis Reid, and Kamden Smith, were all presented Certificates of Recognition for lifesaving efforts by Kim Hills, Program Administrator for Norman Regional’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, for their quick action and saving Bobby’s life. It reads “your valiant and heroic act of service in providing bystander CPR played a crucial role in Mr. Jackson’s survival.” The first responders received a certificate as well for their quick arrival and excellent care.

Others in attendance during the ceremony were the incredible nurses and doctors who helped Bobby recover during his stay at the HealthPlex.

Bobby is excited to get back to coaching and will be at the next game, but for now, he will be on the sidelines cheering on the girls!

According to the CDC, about 9 in 10 people who have cardiac arrest outside the hospital die. But CPR can help improve those odds. If it is performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

Saturday, February 25, Norman Regional Health System, Norman Public Schools, and Norman Regional Health Foundation have come together to offer free CPR classes to the community. Three, free classes aim to support the American Heart Association's mission of increasing survival from cardiac arrest.

The Family & Friends CPR Course will teach participants the essential skills required to save a life. This course is designed for community groups, new parents, grandparents, babysitters, and anyone who is interested in learning CPR.

The course is approximately 1.5 hours long and uses the AHA’s research-proven, practice-while-watching technique, providing students with maximum hands-on practice time.

Space is limited, Sign Up to Attend

Each person attending must be registered for a class. Available classes:

Visit the Keep the Beat link to sign up for a class.