Some Heroes Wear Capes, Others Carry Brooms


PHOTO | Madison Herring

When Isaac Owens and Clinton Stone arrived at work one day in early March, they had no idea they would save someone’s life that day.

Stone and Owens are the primary custodians of M Street. Stone handles the first floor and basement, while Owens handles the top two floors.

Stone took his lunch break like normal, joining his co-worker in the break room for a little conversation over lunch. Owens soon joined the pair after making his lunch.

Stone recalls his co-worker telling him and Owens how tired he was, but nothing else seemed to be abnormal.

“Suddenly, we heard a noise and looked at him. He had fallen over the side of the chair and was slumped over it,” Stone said.

The two custodians rushed over to their co-worker, shaking him and trying to see what was happening. They soon found their friend was unconscious.

“He had slumped so far over, his head was about an inch from the ground,” Owens said.

As he slumped over, the pair noticed his unusual color and knew something was wrong.

“He was blue. You know, on movies and television shows where people are blue? I didn’t know actual people could be that color, but he was,” Owens said.

The pair immediately jumped into action. They got him to the floor, and Stone called 911. The operator advised them to lay him on his back on the floor.

“I knew he had just taken a bite of his sandwich, so I reached into his mouth and got the food out of his mouth and throat. Then I pulled his tongue back so he wouldn’t choke,” Stone said.

EMS arrived soon after, where they took him outside and began working to see exactly what had caused the incident. They informed the pair that he was only breathing once every 38 seconds and were trying to get his breathing aligned again.

“They told us it was anxiety induced and that he had a panic attack. But he was blue and wasn’t breathing, so we didn’t know what was happening to him,” Owens said.

During the paramedics and students at M Street view Owens and Stone as life-savers, the pair views themselves as normal people.

“I’m just some guy; I didn’t know what was happening. We just did everything we could to help him,” Stone said.

The pair stayed out with the EMS workers who were tending to their co-worker, although he could not be seen inside the vehicle.

“One of my first thoughts was, ‘Man, that must have been one hell of a chicken sandwich.’ He took one bite and was slumped over,” Owens said to lighten the mood.

After being taken into the care of EMS, the pair’s co-worker was transported to urgent care, and his vitals were soon regulated. He is now recovering from the incident and has since returned to campus.

For more information about custodial services offered at Tech or facilities management services, visit