After near-death experience, firefighter marries at EMT station
Four months after cardiac event, firefighter says, 'I do'
By Rebecca Zeminick
WILLIAMSTOWN, Pa. — On December 8, William Fetterolf, better known as DJ Golddust or Bill, was at the Williamstown EMS Building, not working, or being treated for an illness, but tieing the knot with the love of his life.
Four months ago, Bill would have never guessed that he would be getting married and the Williamstown EMS station would be the setting for the double ring ceremony, but on August 8, his life changed forever.
"Tina and I were helping with the Williamstown carnival and I was on call with the second due ambulance," explains Bill. "About 7 p.m. I told Tina, who I had been dating since 2010, that my teeth hurt and around 8 p.m. I asked Asst. Chief Andy Donton to check my blood pressure because I just didn't feel well."
Bill got into the ambulance and within two minutes or so he began sweating really badly and then it was lights out. He can't remember a thing from that point on.
"I was told that all the EMT's from Williamstown got in the back of the ambulance to help me and the firefighters from Williamstown, Wiconisco, and Sheridan went to the landing zone in Wiconisco where a Life Lion Helicopter flew me to Harrisburg Hospital where I had emergency surgery," recalls Bill.
The surgeons placed two stents in my heart and then performed surgery again the next day to place one more stent. Bill had two 100% blockages and one 90% blockage.
"It was the worst night of my life," said Tina Reightler Fetterolf, Bill's bride. "I'm just so thankful we were already at the EMS station when this happened or I don't know if Bill would have survived."
Bill said it wasn't until he recovered and got back home that he finally broke down and realized just how lucky he was to have survived the ordeal.
"As an EMS provider and firefighter we never ask for or expect a thank you," said Bill. "We do everything we can to help others. We run out the door when the pager sounds and we risk our lives to help people we don't know, but when it happened to me I had no idea how to thank everyone for what they did for me. I do know that if I had not been where I was when it happened I wouldn't be alive today. Williamstown EMS is always training and we never miss a call and we are a very close family."
In September, Tina and I were shopping at Kay Jewelers where I bought her a birthday present and while they were there they looked at some rings and Tina said, 'we should get married,' so the couple set a date for December 8. When they told their immediate family of their plans, some were concerned because it was the last day of hunting season. Tina and Bill tried to change the date, but it just seemed like December 8 was the date it had to be — exactly four months after Bill's life-threatening heart attack.
"Since Williamstown EMS personnel saved my life and we are a close-knit family, we decided to show them our thanks, love and appreciation by having our wedding ceremony performed at the EMS station," said Bill. "It was amazing to see how everyone worked together and turned the Williamstown training room into a wedding chapel. It was beautiful and we are very thankful to everyone."
Bill says the events that took place on August 8 have changed his life completely.
"I cherish everyday as if it were my last and I thank God every day for my life," said Bill. "Tina and I go somewhere to eat every Friday night because when we aren't at work, we are together. Sometimes life gets busy but we always find time to say I love you."
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