Off-duty firefighters save teen’s life while playing basketball

Columbia Fire Department Captain Kareem Spain and Kiah Thomas were playing a pickup game with some high school students when a teen collapsed

COLUMBIA, S.C. —Two off-duty firefighters saved a teen’s life during a basketball game.

WLTX reported that Columbia Fire Department Captain Kareem Spain and Kiah Thomas were playing a pickup basketball game with a group of high school students as a way to stay in shape.

"Normally we go play basketball when we get off shift,” Capt. Spain said.

"Maintaining our conditioning especially with this department and our line of work and what we do," Thomas added.

Capt. Spain and Thomas were playing at a new location when one of the teens, Josh Boyd, collapsed.

"While we [were] playing, we noticed Josh went down," Thomas said.

The firefighters thought Boyd was having a seizure and jumped into action.

"Kiah was there at his head monitoring his airways, and then he told me, 'Hey Capt. I don't think he's breathing good,' and then he checked his pulse and he realized he had a very faint pulse at the time and then shortly after, no pulse at all," Capt. Spain said.

The firefighters immediately began performing CPR to revive Boyd. According to a tweet from the football team Boyd plays for, the teen suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery. He is now recovering.

"It was God’s plan for us to be there on that particular day," Thomas said. "Regardless if we're on shift or off shift or whatever, it's just about just looking out for the next man because at some point in time, I would hope if I'm ever in that same predicament or in that situation, someone would do the same for me."

Capt. Spain said the incident highlights the fact that firefighters are always there to help.

 "I just want people to know that we are here to help," he said. "It's not just about putting out house fires. We have a lot of skills that we have to offer the citizens here."

A GoFundMe was launched to help Boyd’s family with hospital bills. Click here to donate.


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