CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A Hamilton County man had a heart attack while behind the wheel of a car and first responders brought him back to life January 4th.
Sunday, he met the men who saved him for the first time since the scary ordeal to say thank you.
60-year-old Chuck Dodd didn't have a history of heart problems, but he quickly realized he needed to pull off the road and call 911. Doctors say if it weren't for first responders' quick actions, he wouldn't be alive today. Now, Chuck and his family want them to be recognized for their heroism.
Chuck Dodd: "I just pulled in the parking lot. I don't know what to do."
911 Dispatcher: "How long have you been having these chest pains?"
Chuck Dodd: "About five minutes."
"People think oh, I can make it, you know I'll drive and be the hero to themselves, but that day I left my life in their hands," Chuck said.
And because of that, he's alive to thank the men he says are his new heroes.
"You're my heroes," he told them.
"We don't look at it that way," EMT Samuel Branch said.
On the way to the hospital, Chuck went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. They shocked his heart and did CPR for several minutes until he came back to life.
"We've got a future together that we wouldn't have had," Jennifer Dodd said.
Jennifer, his wife of two years, says a hug and thank you is the least they can do for these modest men.
"It's so easy to take that for granted. I know I have in the past, and I never will again. I mean they saved his life," Jennifer said.
"Just shaking their hand and just thanking them for what they do and doing it well. It may be corny to them, I don't know, but it really meant a lot to both of us," Chuck said.
"It's tough. I didn't get into this job for recognition. I got into the job to help out and just make a difference, and we did that day," Branch said.
EMT Samuel Branch and Paramedic Travis Neely says this was a first on a few levels in their combined 31 years of service.
"This is the first save in my career that I've had. That's someone's actually walked out of the hospital and came back and thanked us," Branch said.
"It means a lot to me to show that what I do is appreciated," Paramedic Travis Neely said.
Chuck Dodd is doing fine since getting a stent in his heart. Emergency responders hope his story is an example to others to call 911 as soon as you feel signs of a heart attack, like Chuck did-- chest pains, heavy sweating, trouble breathing and a numbing arm.
Firefighters from Quint 8 arrived on the scene first and tended to Chuck until Medic 7 got there. Chuck was able to meet and thank all of them Sunday, including 911 Dispatcher Nick Porter.