Edmond Man Saved By Former Firefighter After Suffering Heart Attack Outside Restaurant

Wednesday, October 9th 2019, 5:58 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A man had a heart attack and died while walking out of an Edmond restaurant. Fortunately, a former firefighter was eating at that same restaurant and was able to bring him back to life. 

It all happened on Friday, September 27. Tom Smith was having dinner at the Bistro restaurant with friends.

“I took the key out of my pocket, I got dizzy and fell onto the hood, and that’s the last thing I remember,” said Smith.      

Fortunately for Smith, Ryan Drees, a former firefighter, was eating dinner at that same restaurant and he was sitting by a window.

“I saw him fall down and when he rolled over, by the way his arms were postured, I knew something wasn’t right,” said Drees.

Drees checked Smith's vitals, and then started CPR and told his friend to run next door to Gold's Gym and grab a defibrillator.

“My training kind of kicked in,” said Drees.    

By the time paramedics arrived, Smith was conscious and talking.

“He started answering all my questions, was up and talking to me, which was really bizarre for someone who was just in cardiac arrest,” said Alexander Schendel, the EMSA paramedic that responded.

“I didn’t look this good the last time you saw me,” laughed Smith, when he met Schendel and EMT John Thompson for the first time since his attack. “You guys are here to prove you can’t keep a dead man down.”

The whole encounter made Smith take another look at his future.

“I kind of question why am I still here, because it was kind of a perfect storm of good luck,” he said.

But it's done the same for Drees, who retired from firefighting when he moved to Oklahoma.

“This kind of gave me the itch to go back,” said Drees.

Smith said his message to everyone is to support your local first responders, because you never know when you’re going to need them.