Heart attack survivor meets first responders who saved him, searches for Good Samaritan


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Although the search for the Good Samaritan continues, we were able to connect Jeff Ireland with some first responders.

Some of the people he met include Mecklenburg EMS Agency Paramedics Kyle Gilliam and Kyle Sheehan who responded to the call that day, and 911 dispatcher Erin Mitchell.

All three will receive a ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) pin that they can wear on their uniforms. First responders get these in situation where they are able to successfully restart the heart, as in this situation with Jeff.

Jeff was able to present one of the first responders, Gilliam, with the pin on Monday.

“As you can tell, I am a little emotional at 60. I didn’t use to be this bad. Just really grateful these guys knew what they were doing. They did it extremely well and here I am,” Jeff said.

First responders said it’s pretty rare to see patients make such a great recovery after situations like Jeff’s.

“When we arrived, he was not breathing and he did not have a pulse,” Gilliam said. “So this is amazing to witness and be a part of this.”

Jeff is back to driving and working part-time. He also said this was the 7th time in his life where a doctor has told he that he’s lucky to be alive.

“God has me here for a reason and I’m just so grateful,” he said.

Jeff and first responders also want to find the Good Samaritan who helped perform CPR. 

“Every minute that goes by that nobody is doing CPR on a pulseless patient, their chances of survival decreases by 10 percent. So having that person doing that on scene is incredible,” Gilliam said. 

The Good Samaritan identified himself as a “vet” and had an accent. Witnesses believe he was possibly Hispanic. 

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