Father thanks firefighter son, neighbor for saving him

Derek Dee happened to be working at a station near his parents' house when he got the call

By FireRescue1 Staff

PHOENIX — Every firefighter dreads responding to a call where a loved one is involved. But one Phoenix firefighter happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Firefighter Derek Dee was on his way to answering a call Sept. 20 when he recognized his parents' address, reported KTAR. Dee, who rotates working at different stations, happened to be working at the station nearest to his parents' home.

“I saw the address ... a little bit of disbelief,” Dee said. “I’m looking like, ‘No, that can’t be right; not a code’ … That’s the worst call I could get to that address.”

Dee’s father, Tommy, 71, had gone into cardiac arrest and was not breathing; Dee’s mother called 911. A neighbor rushed over and performed CPR until Dee and other first responders arrived. Dee shocked his father with an AED three times before reviving him, reported ABC. He was then transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery and was given a pacemaker.

“When you see your dad lying on the ground and his face is blue and he’s not breathing, it’s pretty tough,” Dee said. 

Dee’s father thanked him and his neighbor, Jason Ross, in a short ceremony Wednesday for their lifesaving efforts. 

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