Ryan Greathouse could have never guessed that the routine safety training he received at Pittsburg Tank & Tower Group would lead to him saving his father’s life. So, his story is a fitting one to tell as June both marks National Safety Month and when Father’s Day is celebrated.
Ryan works as an account executive in the PTTM sales department. Before Ryan started his office job, he worked out in the field as a foreman in the tank inspection division. Ryan underwent an initial CPR/first aid training course and yearly refreshers as part of his job. He used safety tips learned in the class day-to-day in the field but never imagined using CPR in a life-or-death situation away from the job.
“It was a lot different than being forced to use it immediately,” he said.
Ryan was visiting his parents at their Evansville, Indiana home on May 8, 2022 – Mother’s Day – when his 72-year-old father, William Greathouse, had a heart attack.
“I hear a thud, and the next thing I knew, my mom was screaming,” Ryan recounted. “Dad was on the floor: no pulse, no air, not breathing.”
Though he’d never had to use the CPR training he’d received when he was an inspections crew foreman, it all came flooding back.
“I instantly remembered everything,” he said. “I put air in his body because I knew he had to have air because his brain wasn’t getting any.”
As he performed CPR, he called 911. The operator told him not to use air, but Ryan did because that’s what he had learned in training.
Once the first responders arrived, one of them was someone Ryan knew from the Perry Township Fire Department. He and Ryan swapped performing CPR on William as another responder ran items in and out of the house. EMTs also arrived, and there was a team of about six people rotating and performing CPR. The EMTs also used AED Defibrillators five to seven times and finally got a constant pulse.
The first responders loaded William into an ambulance. His vitals dropped on the way to the hospital, but “they got him back,” Ryan said.
William was released from the hospital, and the next weekend he and Ryan drove to North Carolina to make a delivery. They learned that William wasn’t supposed to drive yet, so he’s been following doctors’ orders ever since. Ryan said his dad is bored, but “he’s good now.”
That was William’s third heart attack. After he suffered his first one in the early 2000s, doctors put stents in him. A triple bypass was performed in 2010 after his second heart attack.
Ryan joked that he’s not getting anything for his dad for Father’s Day this year. “I already saved his life,” he said.