Fairfax firefighters save woman's life, invite her to dinner

FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) -- Firefighters in Fairfax County not only saved an 89-year-old woman's life, but they invited her to dinner, too.

On Wednesday night, Marian Hoover of Annandale came by Fire and Rescue Station 8 to thank and to eat with the men who helped her.

"A lot of times what happens is, after we bring them to the hospital, we don't know anything after that," said Bob Sweeney, one of who three firefighters who saved Hoover's life. "We don't know the final outcome. So they try to do things like this to bring us back together."

Hoover says she woke up on the morning of July 9 not feeling well.

"Usually I don't pay any attention, I just lay back down and it'll go away," Hoover told ABC7. "But something told me that wasn't so, and that I needed help, so I called 911."

Sweeney and lieutenants Tim O'Toole and Duane Black arrived on the scene minutes later. They found Hoover unconscious on the couch.

"You're training kicks a team," Black said. "We saw her take her last breath. Checked the pulse, she had no pulse."

Firefighters say they always enter a building bringing several pieces of equipment, including a defibrillator, or AED. They used it to try to restart Hoover's heart.

"We made sure everybody was clear, and we shocked her once, and then we started CPR," Black said.

O'Toole says a short time later, Hoover's pulse returned and she started breathing on her own again.

Hoover says she spent five days in the hospital, but she is now feeling as healthy as she did before the heart trouble.

She seemed surprised that not only would firefighters save her life, but they would also invite her to dinner.

"They're great, great guys," she said. "I thought if your heart stopped then you were gone. But they brought me back, and that was a miracle."

"All that training, and years of practice, and continuing education, all comes together and pays off,” Black said.

"It's a great feeling that you did your job and you were able to save someone's life," O'Toole said. "That means a lot."