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York Twp. man thanks EMTs who saved his life

Christopher Dornblaser
717-505-5436/@YDDornblaser

Had Norman Morris waited a few minutes more to call 911, he might not be alive today.

Joanne Morris, left, of York Township, and Paramedic Supervisor Jason Mosebach, center, of Goodwill Fire Co., look on as Morris' husband Norman Morris recalls with gratitude his recent experience at the station in York Township, Thursday, May 19, 2016. The three share a laugh as they talk about a rhyme Morris recited, to prove his coherence, while riding in an ambulance after suffering a heart attack on May 5. Morris called 911 while experiencing great pressure on his chest, and went into ventricular fibrillation four minutes later, after the ambulance had arrived. It took about a minute for Mosebach and his partner EMT David Snelbaker (not shown) to resuscitate Morris. Dawn J. Sagert  photo

On May 5, while mowing the lawn at his York Township home, he said he felt a pain in his chest, as if an elephant was sitting on it. Within four minutes, EMTs were on the scene and helping him into an ambulance.

When he was in the ambulance, he went into cardiac arrest for about a minute, but EMTs were able to revive him.

While the rest of the country is acknowledging emergency medical service personnel in various ways during National EMS Week, Norman Morris and his wife, Joanne Morris, took a different approach Thursday morning and publicly thanked York Area Regional EMS Paramedic Supervisor Jason Mosebach, of Felton, and EMT David Snelbaker, of Red Lion, at the Goodwill Fire Co. in York Township.

Gratitude:  The week after the incident, Norman walked into the York Area Regional EMS building to thank Mosebach and Snelbaker for saving his life.

"Without them he would not be here," Joanne said.

Mosebach said they have gotten recognition from patients before, but nothing to the extent Norman and Joanne were doing.

"The biggest thanks was Mr. Morris walking into the station" a week after the incident, Mosebach said.

York Area Regional EMS Chief Joe Stevens said it was nice that the Mosebach and Snelbaker got some follow-up for doing their job.

"Unfortunately in EMS, many times we don't get the follow-up," he said.

Stevens said as soon as Norman walked in, he knew exactly who he was.

From left, Joanne Morris looks on as her husband Norman Morris, both of York Township, who suffered a heart attack on May 5, hugs Paramedic Supervisor Jason Mosebach, of Goodwill Fire Co., at the station in York Township, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Morris called 911 while experiencing great pressure on his chest, and went into ventricular fibrillation four minutes later, after the ambulance had arrived. It took about a minute for Mosebach and his partner EMT David Snelbaker (not shown) to resuscitate Morris. Dawn J. Sagert  photo

"It's just one of those calls that's very outstanding for us," Stevens said.

Saving a life: When Mosebach and Snelbaker arrived, at about 4:45 p.m., Norman was white, but still talking.

While in the ambulance, Norman went into cardiac arrest. While in cardiac arrest, Mosebach and Snelbaker performed many procedures to help him, such as CPR, but it was ultimately the defibrillator that brought him back.

"We shocked him one time, and his heart started beating again," Mosebach said.

Norman was then taken to York Hospital and was in critical care by 6 p.m. He was discharged four days later.

Perfect timing: Stevens said many times in situations like the one Norman was in, a positive outcome is a result of timing.

"Time is absolutely everything for what they do," he said.

Mosebach noted that Norman had made the right call by calling 911 so shortly after experiencing chest pains, adding that identifying the pain and calling is paramount.

"I attribute a lot to Norm," he said.

Norman said it was a first-time pain for him, causing him to call. He urged anyone feeling that way to do the same.

"Don't delay, just call," he said.

Stevens said it takes everything coming together, from the call time to the response time, for a success story like Norman's to come to fruition.

"Our motto is 'community centered, community driven' — this is when it hits home," Stevens said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser atcdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@YDDornblaser.