Some days at OPC are just not like others for an OPC Technician. One particular day stands out for Technician Ray Thompson. On Friday, February 17, 2023, Ray was helping out on the commercial side of the business. While he is usually performing bed bug heat treatments for residential customers, the commercial side was short on staff, and he was filling in for them. After servicing a medical facility on Dixie Highway in Louisville, he was on his way to a nursing home next. He decided to stop at a gas station with a convenience store on his way to grab something for the road. That’s when his day took a turn.
As he was walking into the convenience store, he saw a guy leaning on his car with another guy standing next to him. In Ray’s opinion, the guy didn’t look good. So, he asked the friend if he was ok. He said he was, so he went on his way. He went in, grabbed a few things, and paid. As he came back out, he happened to be there to see the man fall over. He yelled back into the convenience store for the employees to call 911 and then ran over to the man on the ground. He fell in between two cars so he couldn’t get to him to even feel for a pulse. He had his friend help him drag him out so he could see what was wrong. There was now a crowd around him, and people were screaming, “Does anyone know CPR?” That’s when Ray’s Air Force training kicked in.
Ray checked and found that the man wasn’t breathing. He started chest compressions, and after about 15 compressions, the man started to choke. Ray turned him on his side, but he stopped breathing again. After 15 more compressions, more choking, again turning him on his side, and again he stopped breathing. Because of his training, Ray knew to watch the man’s mouth to see if air was coming out after each compression – an indication the CPR was working. After the third time and about 15-20 more compressions, he got him breathing again. Ray kept talking to the man so he would remain conscious. He said, “It felt like an hour, but it was more like 15 minutes. Finally, the fire truck pulled up first and put oxygen on him. The EMTs got him to stand, and they put him in the ambulance.
Ray said, “The EMT told me he would be ok and told me I did a good job. I kept him alive until they got there.” It’s a good thing for this man that Ray happened to be helping out with some commercial jobs that day. Who knows what would have happened if he was on his normal route?
Nobody asked Ray for his name, and he never found out the man’s name that he saved. But sometimes the best thing is doing the right thing when nobody is watching. That’s what Ray did that Friday in February. Ray noted “I never thought I’d have to use that First Aid Field Training I had in the Air Force, but it certainly came in handy that day.”
Ray retired in 2005 from the Air Force. He’s been with OPC for 18 years – as he puts it, “happily!” He said he loved it there before and when Rollins took over, it became even better. He has some more time off now and he said he’s even happier than he was before. After the ordeal, Ray said, “I sat there with high adrenaline for 20 minutes before I was able to leave.” We can imagine. We’re humbled to call Ray an employee at OPC. We thank him for his service and for what he did that day. He is truly one of a kind.