State senator helps save man's life

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - State Sen. Bo Watson and other bystanders helped saved the life of an 85-year-old man who collapsed in line for a seafood buffet at the inn at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

Watson, a physical therapist at Parkridge Medical Center, used CPR and a defibrillator to revive Alfred P. Rogers, a retired surgeon, after he collapsed on July 6.

Watson and two nurses performed CPR until park rangers arrived with a defibrillator. Watson said they followed the instructions on the device until paramedics arrived.

"After about 20 or 25 minutes, the emergency medical folks got there ... we kind of stepped aside and let the guys and gals that know what they're doing get you boxed up and carried away," Watson told Rogers in a meeting at Erlanger hospital on Thursday.

"And then I went in and had a good dinner on your behalf," Watson told Rogers.

"I hope so," Rogers responded with a laugh. "Send us a check!"

Watson, a Hixson Republican, said he plans to reintroduce legislation next year that would seek to expand the availability of automated external defibrillators.

Ranger Ray Cutcher said defibrillators have been set up in spots around the park for several years and that rangers have more recently begun carrying them in their vehicles.

Dana Coleman, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environment and Conservation, said hundreds of the units have been placed in parks around the state.

Rogers said he was looking forward to returning home after what he called "some plumbing work" to clear blocked arteries.

"Life is sweet," he said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)