Totally NOT BS


Disco tune saves man’s life

Debra Bader was taking a walk in the woods with her 53-year-old husband one morning when suddenly he collapsed. At first she thought the situation was hopeless.
Debra Bader was prompted to perform CRP on her husband, Christopher, after recalling a public service ad.

“I looked at him and said, ‘He’s dead,’ because he wasn’t moving or making any sounds at all,” Bader remembers. “But I pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and called 911, and then a public service announcement I’d heard on the radio popped into my head.”

The one-minute PSA from the American Heart Association instructed listeners, in the event of cardiac arrest, to perform chest compressions very hard to the beat of the 1970s Bee Gees song “Staying Alive.”

If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid. I’m glad she was successful and her husband is alive and healthy.

That being said, I will steadfastly refuse to wear a polyester leisure suit uniform now and forever.

And in the “don’t do this if you are in EMS” department, there is this quote,

Bader says doctors at the hospital where her husband was treated have an alternative song. “They told me they do CPR to ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ which also has about 100 beats per minute,” Bader says. “Doctors have kind of a dark sense of humor.”

They do indeed. And they can probably get away with this. You? Not so much. If you do at the least you’ll violate the Second Rule of EMS. Which is: You don’t want a rule named after you. Because they only make rules when people do something stupid.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. As I commented to my wife, "it gives a whole new meaning to 'Death before Disco'." =D

  2. Amen to that… And yes, you gotta love the morbid humor. Military, Fire, EMS all have their quirks in the humor department.

  3. I know which one I'm going to be humming in First Aid class next semester…(Actually, I'm very curious to see if we'll be taught compression-only CPR.)

  4. Uh…"again". You left out the "again.You wrote "…That being said, I will steadfastly refuse to wear a polyester leisure suit uniform…". It should have read "…I will steadfastly refuse to wear a polyester leisure suit uniform AGAIN"…-LT

  5. Hey – that cnn story was mine. The best part is he also had zero brain damage. The 15 minutes (from 911 call to EMT arrival) was pretty hairy.And CNN didn't exactly get it right – the doctors don't sing shit. They just told me that they knew another tune that also fits.And docs and EMT's and fire fighters think they are the only ones with dark humor? You guys would love the jokes the criminal defense lawyers tell to each other…DBB

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