Tim Barefoot, 57, of Dover Township
Tim Barefoot, 57, of Dover Township

Tim Barefoot doesn't remember much about Thursday, Oct. 10, when he suffered a heart attack that almost took his life.

"But everything fell into place the way it was supposed to," said Barefoot, 57, of Dover Township. "I was very lucky. Everything everybody did saved my life."

Close to a dozen first responders received emergency services awards Tuesday from the York Area United Fire & Rescue Commission for their roles in helping Barefoot when he was stricken at the Keystone VHF Amateur Radio Club in Springettsbury Township.

"We're very grateful for the (award) recipients," said William Schenck, the commission's chairman. "What struck me was their team effort to respond, care about people and save lives."

Justin Hoyer, 34, of Camp Hill, who did CPR on Tim Barefoot
Justin Hoyer, 34, of Camp Hill, who did CPR on Tim Barefoot

Honoree 'humbled': Among the honorees was Justin Hoyer, a 911 dispatcher for Dauphin County Emergency Management Agency, who administered CPR on Barefoot for 25 minutes until emergency medical crews go to the club, where both he and Barefoot are members.

Hoyer, a 34-year-old Camp Hill resident, also received a special citizen award as he was not on duty and helped Barefoot as a concerned citizen. Hoyer also is 20-year volunteer firefighter, now serving at Lower Allen Fire Co. No. 1.

"I'm humbled," Hoyer said about being recognized. "You're not thinking about that stuff when you're helping someone. But it's nice to receive respect and appreciation from (the commission)."

Heart attack: Barefoot said witnesses, family and Hoyer filled him in on what happened to him the day he suffered the heart attack.

He said he was stricken in an equipment room while giving a tour to York Technical Institute students who came to the radio club. He passed out, his head striking a rack as he fell face-down to the floor.

Hoyer, a new club member who was in a nearby area, ran to the room after hearing the commotion. He said Barefoot was barely breathing. Then the breathing stopped and Hoyer began administering CPR.

"I just kept going," Hoyer said. "I wasn't going to stop until first responders got there or I until I got exhausted and couldn't go anymore. I didn't stop. I guess it was adrenaline."

'Got a pulse':Barefoot was taken to Memorial Hospital where doctors worked for more than an hour to restart his heart. Sandi Barefoot, his wife, said that doctors told her he could not be saved.

"They let me in the room where he was," she said. "I told him, 'Don't you dare leave me now.' Then I broke down. When I left the room I heard them say, 'We got a pulse.'"

Barefoot was taken to York Hospital for further treatment, remaining in intensive care for two weeks. During that time, Hoyer said he visited Barefoot and received updates about Barefoot's progress.

Barefoot said he was released from the hospital 16 days after his heart attack. He and Hoyer met for lunch two weeks later.

Barefoot said he still gets "choked up" when he thinks about what Justin did to keep him alive.

"It's great to see him and everyone involved get honored," Barefoot said. "They're the reason I'm here. --Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.