Rockford's 911 Center gets around 700 calls every day. With that many emergencies, it might be hard for responders to remember each person they helped, or even each life they saved. On Thursday night, dozens of Rockford residents, who owe their lives to emergency crews, get to tell rescuers thank you face to face. Rockford resident Robert Boggess is living proof that rescue teams go above and beyond. Thanks to an off-duty paramedic four years ago, he's here today.
"He could've easily have said 'Well, I'm off, somebody else can take care of it,' but he didn't, he had the heart to help." -Boggess says.
Robert was driving to work when his heart stopped beating. Doctors still can't say what exactly happened, since wasn't a heart attack. He has a defibrillator now.
"I get to celebrate my children, I get to celebrate my grandchildren, I still get to play music and I love all of that."
People like Robert might say otherwise, but these men and women in uniform don't consider themselves heroes. They'll tell you they're just doing their jobs.
"There are some days where you have more of an opportunity to be involved than others, some days are more routine than others, other days you just happen to run into situations where our training plays a part in someone's life." -says Rockford Fire Department Driver Engineer Kevin Mottor.
Mottor played a part in three separate survivor stories Thursday night. People's appreciation leaves a lasting impression.
"Seeing the look in the eyes of a survivor is unbelievable, but seeing the look in the eyes of the spouse, the kids, the grandkids, it's phenomenal to be able to see the lives these people are now leading, when after the worst day of their life we don't know where they would've been." -he adds.
Survivors who attended the event for the first time each got a hat and medal from the Rockford Fire Department.
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