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Off-duty CFD firefighters give life-saving aid to help Richland Two athlete

It may have been a case of simply being in the right place at the right time.

That’s one feeling surrounding the incredible work of several Columbia-Richland firefighters who stepped in to help save the life of an area high school student on Wednesday October 10, 2018.

The student was later revealed to be Josh Boyd, who plays quarterback for the Richland Northeast High School Cavaliers.

On October 10 Boyd was reportedly playing an afternoon pick-up game of basketball at Sonny’s SportsPlex Gym with several CFD firefighters, who were off duty at the time. They say at some point during the game he collpased and appeared to be suffering from a seizure.

“Our training that we received from the job just kicked in I would say second hand and we just wanted to give the best that we could give with the tools and resources that we had at the time,” said Fire Captain Kareem Spain, who works on First Shift at Columbia-Richland Fire and organizes off-day workouts with several crews.

Spain says and he and his fellow firefighters immediately put Boyd into the recovery position hoping he would come out of the seizure. However they say as time passed the teen’s condition only seemed to worsen. When he stopped breathing the firefighters began to administer CPR.

“It was God’s plan honestly I think God placed us there for a reason on that particular day,” said Firefighter Kiah Thomas, who also was on scene. 

Fire Captain Kareem Spain (left) & Firefighter Kiah Thomas (right)

Other members of the off-duty crew called 9-1-1. Captain Spain says by the time EMS arrived they had succeeded in getting a pulse on Josh Boyd and some breathing activity.

Boyd was rushed to an area hospital and later taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for further treatment.

Captain Spain says his off-duty workouts are usually organized with crews on First Shift and Third Shift. The day of the incident was the first time the firefighters had ever gone to Sonny’s SportsPlex.

“At the end of the day we just firemen,” said Firefighter Thomas, “ya know we just firemen providing service to the citizens of Columbia and Richland County regardless of whether we’re on-shift or off shift.”

The work of Captain Spain and his crew as been highlighted in reports by WIS News 10, WLTX News 19 and WACH FOX News.

Here are the names of all of our staff who were involved with the rescue:

Fire Captain Kareem Spain

Firefighter Kiah Thomas

Engineer Arthur Mitchell

Senior Firefighter Jonathan Dukes

Senior Firefighter Stephan Sims-King

Senior Firefighter Rian Jefferson

Firefighter Kiante Curenton

Firefighter Caleb McLaughlin

Firefighter Marcus Pee

Firefighter Andrew McClaine

Firefighter Sadarius Thomas

Firefighter Keith Stokes Jr.

CFD’s Second-Shift Engine 14 crew also responded after 9-1-1 was called.