Police and firefighters save man’s life at parade

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) —  After having a heart attack and falling to the ground with no pulse, this man survived thanks to a team of police and firefighters. 

Over the weekend Thomas Hall was taking pictures at the Vermilion County Farm Bureau tractor parade when his heart failed. Before the ambulance arrived, a team of first responders rushed to save him. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to him. 

Hall has a history of heart problems. Fifteen years ago he had a heart attack while driving his car. Rantoul police broke through his window and revived him. This time around, another heart attack happened while he was at the parade.

State Police Trooper Robert Woodard says, “Mr. Hall had come over to me and he was taking pictures for the farm bureau.” He is one of the men who saved Hall’s life. 

Hall says, “I asked if I could ask their picture. He said yeah but let me get some more police men up here. When he did that’s the last thing I remember.” 

Woodard says, “He just fell right on the ground in the gravel.” Hall wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. 
The firefighters and police he had talked to earlier rushed to help him. 

Oakwood Police Sergeant Derek Weston says, “I immediately started chest compressions at that time. Trooper Woodard went to his squad car, got his mask and started rescue breathing. Then we did three rounds of CPR before we were relieved by the others that were there.”

Woodard says, “I’ve been trained in first responder all 20 years and this is the first time I’ve ever had to do it.” But this time counted because it worked.

Hall says, “I’m just lucky to be here. And I thank god for saving me.”

Woodard and Weston went to visit him in the hospital on Monday. The family wanted to thank them for what they did.

Weston says, “It feels great. It was the right place at the right time and we were fortunate we were all just there together.”

Woodard says, “If we’re to be given any credit at all, and we’re certainly not looking for it. Getting to him so quick and him being so close to us I think is what helped the most.” 

Hall is now resting and recovering. As he looks back on what happened he says, “I just feel great and I’m grateful for the people who saved my life.” 

His heart is operating at less than 10% right now. On Tuesday he will have a surgery to put in a combined pacemaker and defibrillator so if this ever happens again, he’ll be as ready as he can be. 

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