A 70-year-old man, who was saved by his firefighter son in September, used a celebration of the lifesaving event to mock atheists and agnostics on Oct. 20 in Phoenix (video below).
Derek Dee, the son, was at the firehouse with his co-workers when they got an emergency call on Sept. 10.
"We were in the gym working out, tones kicked out for engine 20, we had the music playing, so the only thing that we heard was code, which is a nature call of someone who is clinically dead," Derek told KSAZ.
Derek recognized the address of the emergency.
"We didn't know initially if it was male or female," Derek recalled. "I knew my mother or father was basically clinically dead. We were going to be responding, we were going to be the first engine there."
The person in need was Derek's dad, Tommy Dee.
Derek and Tommy believe several people helped save Tommy's life, including Tommy's wife who found him, a neighbor who did CPR, the 911 operators, the other firefighters and nurses at a local hospital.
During a happy gathering with many of those first responders, Tommy told the KSAZ, "This is for the agnostics and the atheists out there, come on, who are you kidding!"
Derek credited his training: "Being on shift was the best opportunity for me because I felt like I'm working my profession aspect. I could make a difference, put my training to use."
The Friendly Atheist, which flagged the story, wrote in response:
I guess that’s supposed to mean that God’s the only reason his father is still alive…? It took supernatural intervention?
...Just to be clear, Tommy himself credited (1) his mother for finding dad early, (2) the neighbor who performed CPR, and (3) all the professionals who came to the rescue.
But screw you, atheists. God did it. So there. (Somehow, God got no credit for trying to harm his father.)