Former firefighter, now homeless, saves life with CPR

The former volunteer firefighter responded to a call for help; he began CPR on an unresponsive man and revived him before EMS arrived


CARBONDALE, Ill. — A man living in a homeless shelter used the CPR skills he gained as volunteer firefighter to save another man’s life.

Sammy Tubbs was in his room at the Good Samaritan House when he heard someone outside yell ‘call 911,’ The Southern reports.

Tubbs ran outside and saw a man he recognized, lying on the ground and not breathing. Tubbs immediately began chest compressions and revived him before emergency crews arrived.

“It was great that I got him, but I am no hero,” said Tubbs, 53. “I just did what needed to the done.”

He then left for work at a temporary job cleaning apartments. The man was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition.

Tubbs learned CPR after becoming a volunteer firefighter in Shreveport, La. in 1984. He joined the department after a boy was killed in a house fire across the street from where he used to live, and he wanted to “do something.”

He had administered CPR once before on a man who suffered a heart attack and didn’t survive. Tubbs said he knows the importance of immediate CPR.

"It does make a difference what you do before the ambulance gets there," Tubbs said.

He became involved with Good Samaritan Ministries about two months ago, and is looking for a permanent job that incorporates his skills in building maintenance and car detailing. He also used the news coverage about the incident to ask the public to donate time, food and other resources to Good Samaritan Ministries.

"Because there are a lot of people in Carbondale who need it, and Good Sam has this," Tubbs said. "It is a great thing what they're doing, because if they didn't have Good Samaritan, there's no telling what the people would be doing."

Good Samaritan Ministries Executive Director Mike Heath is proud of Tubbs.

“There are good people here who are down on their luck,” Heath said. “Good, quality people.”

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