Romines Motor Co. service technician Jon Stenger and title clerk Lori Floyd stand next to the car dealership's service bay door, the spot where they administered CPR to a fellow worker last week and essentially saved his life.

Thanks in large part to the actions of a pair of co-workers, a Houston man is still alive today.

Jerry Squires, a driver for Romines Motor Co. in Houston, was at the Ford dealership around 5 p.m. last Wednesday when he suddenly slumped to the floor in the service bay just outside the door to the service counter. Squires, who will turn 80 in June, had suffered a heart attack. The next few minutes would prove crucial to his existence.

During the intense moments that followed, Romines title clerk Lori Floyd and service technician Jon Stenger went into action, teaming up to use their knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to aid their fallen cohort.

With Stenger providing chest compression and Floyd administering mouth-to-mouth breath assistance, the duo helped maintain just enough life in Squires’ body until an ambulance crew arrived and took over.

Squires was taken to Texas County Memorial Hospital and stabilized before being airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. He underwent surgery and remained in serious condition until Friday, when word was received that he would be OK.

Floyd said she and Stenger worked on Squires for about five minutes.

“It was scary and it seemed like it went on forever,” she said. “When I went out there, he was lying on the ground right outside the service door. I got there before Jon, and he was still breathing but he wasn’t coherent. I straightened him out and Jon came running over.

“Then he stopped breathing and we started.”

“When you’re under stress, things just add up and you have a million things going through your mind at once,” Stenger said. “Time just seems to slow down.”

Floyd said Squires twice began breathing again and had a detectable pulse.

“We thought we had him and we were all praising Jesus,” she said. “And then he quit again.”

When a TCMH ambulance crew arrived and administered electric shock treatment, Squires’ heart started beating again.

“Then all the big guys got him loaded on a stretcher and they got him out of here,” Floyd said.

Dealership co-owner Don Romines was also in the building when Squires went down.

“We were afraid of his ribs being hurt, but if you don’t try you’re not going to save him,” Romines said. “And better to hurt his ribs and have him be sore and alive than be dead.”

Romines said he was grateful there were people present who were capable of handling the circumstances.

“This really brings home the importance of knowing how to perform CPR,” he said. “I’m 65 years old and it might be me who needs it next. It really made me feel good that I had some employees who were willing to step forward and knew what needed to be done.”

“Everybody needs to know CPR,” Floyd said. “There’s no reason not to know –– it takes about 20 minutes to learn CPR and know how to save someone’s life.”

“The importance of knowing it is in the fact that you never know when something like this is going to happen,” Stenger said.

Floyd said that even before everyone’s adrenaline had slowed, an ambulance crew member called.

“They said if we hadn’t done what we did, he wouldn’t have made it,” she said.

“They said what we did here had pretty much kept Jerry from dying,” Stenger said.

Romines said the proximity of TCMH –– a short distance away on Sam Houston Blvd. –– also played a key role in the outcome.

“It was fortunate that we had a hospital right across the street,” he said. “It saved Jerry’s life, because if it had been very far away he might not have made it.

“I really want to stress how important it is having a hospital in our community. Even though they don’t perform heart surgery, they can stabilize someone and get them off to where they need to be. It would also have been worse if we had had to wait longer for an ambulance, because time is very crucial at that stage of the game. And when the ambulance crew got there, it was obvious Jerry was in good hands. You could tell they had very good training, and they were very professional. The bottom line is everybody needs to be supportive of our hospital.”

They said if we hadn’t done what we did, he wouldn’t have made it.”

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