Former TJC EMT student saves 16-month-old’s life

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On the morning of Feb. 26, Stacy Thompson was screaming and running with her 16-month-old daughter lying motionless in her arms, desperately seeking help. She was not necessarily hoping to find an EMT to help her, but fortunately, there was one nearby.

Brandon Porter, former TJC EMT student, was passing by the scene, slammed on his breaks, made a U-turn and ran to help Thompson and her baby, Kennedy Grace.

Kennedy had an apparent seizure while strapped in her car seat. As Thompson looked in her rearview mirror, she noticed her daughter had stopped breathing and quickly pulled to the side of South Donnybrook Avenue to try to get help.

Porter jumped out of his truck, told the frantic mother he was an EMT and Thompson handed him her daughter. Porter then rubbed Kennedy’s chest and she began breathing again.

To everyone standing by, including Thompson, Porter became the hero of the moment, but to Porter, he was just doing his job. The off-duty EMT helped Thompson by himself just as he would on duty with other EMS partners with him.

“The big thing was to calm Stacy down so she could answer all the questions. I can’t stand seeing moms upset, but it ran pretty calmly,” Porter said.

Saving lives isn’t unusual for Porter who works with sick and injured people every day.

He is now employed with ETMC and teaches the skills portion of the EMT class at TJC to help those who want to save lives just as he does on a daily basis.

“I don’t feel that I saved a life. I was just doing my job… It’s what I do everyday. But the reaction I got was incredible,” Porter said about the media attention.

As an EMT, Porter has had to learn to put his emotions aside.

Porter has worked for the Elmo VFD since he was 16 and graduated from Wills Point High School in 2006.

When only in high school as a volunteer firefighter, Porter assisted a bus wreck when four children and the bus driver died. Counseling was an option afterwards, but Porter refused it.

“I’ve learned to set the emotional side separate so I can focus on what I do,” he said.

Porter’s dad works at the Coppell Fire Department (CFD) and is fire chief at Elmo Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD). Almost everyone at the CFD and EVFD know about his son’s achievements.

Dave Timmons, instructor and department chair of Emergency Medical Services Professions, heard about his former student and said, “He did exactly what he was taught.”

Porter crammed all the skills that were practiced in class multiple times.

When off-duty, Porter tries to relax and sleep as much as he can to be able to sit in an ambulance for 12 hours the next day. Fortunately, Porter had to run errands that day and was able to help Thompson and her daughter.

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