Two Texas Tech staff members have been recognized by the City of Lubbock for saving a man’s life earlier in the year.

On the afternoon of May 19th, a call went out over staff radios at the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center that someone had collapsed on the indoor track.

Director Peewee Roberson figured it was another case of a student working out on an empty stomach. It quickly became clear that was not the case.

“Peewee, NOW,” radioed Lindsay Anderson, assistant director for facilities. Roberson grabbed an automated external defibrillator  and broke into a run.

Together, Anderson and Roberson began resuscitation efforts on 70-year-old Byrnie Bass, an alumnus who was experiencing cardiac arrest.

They continued until first responders with Lubbock Fire Rescue Engine 6 arrived on the scene.

Tuesday, August 29th, their life-saving efforts were recognized by members of the fire department, who presented Anderson and Roberson with certificates of commendation.

“Because of their quick-thinking, training and knowledge, this patient is alive today,” said Lubbock Fire Rescue Division Chief Steve Holland. “A lot of it is because of Mr. Roberson and the way he runs this facility, making sure all of his employees know what they need to do and are trained. When a situation like this occurs, they don’t panic, they just get to work.”

Bass was using one of the cardio machines near the track when he collapsed.

He said he remembers driving to the Rec Center to work out like he had almost every morning since the center was built in 1980.

“If it weren’t for these folks, heck, I wouldn’t be here,” Bass said. “Pure and simple.”

After four weeks and a hospital stay that included a quadruple bypass, Roberson said Bass walked back into the Rec Center.