A Special Thanks to Fire and Rescue


Posted on March 14th, by John Rhadigan in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

The Rich Peverley press conference was, understandably, full of relief and gratitude. Rich himself had a long list of folks to thank including, of all people, the media. One of the last groups mentioned was Dallas Fire and Rescue. I am glad they got a mention but personally wish it had come earlier in the press conference. Without question the trainers and doctors did an amazing job and deserve all the recognition and thanks in the world, but sometimes I fear we take ambulance drivers and paramedics for granted.

Here at Fox Sports we had occasion to call for an ambulance recently. I was preparing for an Oklahoma City Thunder half-time report when one of the editors ran into the newsroom and shouted that another editor was having a seizure. We all ran back to see if we could help and to our shock and dismay, the editor was on the floor writhing and foaming at the mouth. The scene was chaotic, tense and really scary.

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Rich Peverley (black t-shirt,) flanked by Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, GM Jim Nill and the UT Southwestern medical staff, thanked all those involved in saving his life

I have some experience with seizures having grown up with an epileptic sister. The doctors always told us that if/when she had a seizure we should stay near her and talk in reassuring tones until the episode subsided. That is exactly what I did with this editor I just knelt near him and repeated over and over that he would be alright and that help was on the way. As he started to come out of the seized state he looked at me and the others with a vacant expression. He could answer our questions but we weren’t sure if he knew what he was saying. During this time he was holding my hand with a very strong and needy grip.

A mere six minutes after the episode began Irving Fire and Rescue arrived – I was so glad to see these men run through the halls with purpose and confidence.  They took control of the scene and asked us to get the heck out of the way. Thank God! We told them what we had seen and I expressed my biggest concern which was that there was blood coming from his mouth during the seizure. They calmly explained that he probably just bit his tongue when he fell out of his chair.

I did the halftime report for the Thunder/Hornets game shaking with adrenaline. Afterwards, still shaking, I went back to editing to check on my co-worker. The paramedics had loaded him on a stretcher and were taking him to the hospital. They said that it was just precautionary but that he may need to spend the night.

As the paramedics wheeled him out the door, I thanked each one of them. When they entered our building their hands were full of medical bags. They also had a stretcher and other equipment they knew they might need. But the most important thing they brought with them was calm. As soon as they arrived the chaos was replaced with quiet confidence. As much as we were trying to remain cool and reassuring, we are sportscasters, producers and editors and we were freaking out!  The professionals did a great job of calming us down and caring for our friend. He did spend a night in the hospital but he is fine now thanks in large part to the job done by Irving Fire and Rescue.

So the next time you see a paramedic, thank him or her for the job they do. And the next time you see an ambulance approaching on the road, get the heck out of the way and let these heroes do their job.

John Rhadigan


John Rhadigan has called Texas home for nearly 24 years, having spent 11 years at NBC 5 as a sports reporter/anchor and 12 years as an anchor at Fox Sports SW. Rhadigan is the recipient of more than a dozen Emmy Awards for sports reporting and anchoring.





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