Columbia, SC (WLTX) — Two Columbia firefighters came to the rescue and saved a Midlands teen's life while playing a pickup game of basketball.
Captain Kareem Spain and Kiah Thomas are firefighters with the Columbia Fire Department.
"Normally we go play basketball when we get off shift,” said Spain.
Thomas says playing basketball helps keep them in shape.
"Maintaining our conditioning especially with this department and our line of work and what we do," said Thomas.
Last week, they were playing a pick-up game at Sonny's Sportsplex in Columbia with some high schoolers.
"We knew we (were) older, but we had a game plan. We thought we did,” explained Spain.
They both knew they were in for a challenge.
They usually don't play at this complex, but they wanted to try out a new spot. It turns out they went to the right place at the right time.
Minutes into the game, something went wrong.
"While we (were) playing, we noticed Josh went down," said Thomas.
You might know Josh Boyd as the quarterback at Richland Northeast High School.
The firefighters believed he was having a seizure and started helping Boyd like they've been trained to do.
"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," explained Spain.
The firefighters sprang into action and performed chest compressions to help bring Boyd back to life.
"We like to believe that God brought him back to life. We figured we'd do what we're trained to do and then leave it in God's hand," said Spain.
Boyd was able to be taken to the hospital.
According to Richland Northeast's Football Team's twitter, Boyd had a heart attack and ended up having surgery. They're happy to say everything went well and he's 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."
Spain wants people to know that firefighters are here to help whenever they’re called upon.
"I just want people to know that we are here to help," Spain said. "It's not just about putting out house fires. We have a lot of skills that we have to offer the citizens here."
The firefighters are wishing Boyd the best as he recovers.
"Josh will hopefully have a full recovery sooner than later and he can get back to his duties of being a superstar quarterback," said Thomas.
A GoFund Me page has been set up for Boyd while his family tries to cover hospital expenses.
Their goal is to raise five thousand dollars and, as of Monday afternoon, they've raised over thirty-eight hundred dollars.