Unionville firefighter on life support after heart attack days before daughter’s graduation

Brian Outen was talking with a fellow friend and firefighter when his heart stopped suddenly.
Brian Outen was talking with a fellow friend and firefighter when his heart stopped suddenly.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 5:15 PM EDT
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UNIONVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Union County fireman is in the hospital days before his daughter’s graduation after suffering a heart attack.

Brian Outen of the Unionville Fire Department was chatting with his friend and fellow firefighter Tim Williams when his heart suddenly stopped.

“It sounds bad, but I’m thankful that I was there and he was with me because if he’d been asleep…we’d be doing something different,” Williams said. “My fire department training kicked in. I called 911.”

The pair was working their second job at a nearby country club when Outen went down. Emergency crews raced to the scene and got him medical care within minutes. He was taken to the hospital where he remains on life support.

And here at the firehouse where Outen serves, his presence is deeply missed.

“It’s a brotherhood and it’s a family,” firefighter Caleb Baucom said. “We just hate to hear this happened to a firefighter and a fellow brother.”

Rescue crews say even people in peak physical condition aren’t immune to something as serious as a heart attack.

“It could happen to anybody,” firefighter Hoke Carlan said. “It could happen to me, it could happen to Mister Olympia.”

Around the Unionville firehouse, pictures are hung with reverence and serve as memories of better times serving their community.

While Outen is recovering at the hospital, it won’t be fast enough to be in attendance for one of the most important days of his daughter Makayla’s life.

She graduates from high school on Monday, something her father won’t be able to see in person.

To make sure he doesn’t miss her big day, firefighters are setting up a video chat so he can watch his daughter get her diploma.

But as the days pass, the medical bills continue to mount up. Since Outen can’t work, the income is drying up, so the fire department is reaching out to the people they serve for help.

“[We’re asking] the community to just help out with medical bills and prayers,” Williams said.

While everyone is hopeful Outen will be back at the station someday, he still has a long road ahead.

“I’m hoping for a full recovery but he’s got a long road to go,” Williams said.

Donations to the fund for Outen and his daughter can be submitted at a GoFundMe here, or can be dropped off directly at the firehouse.

Related: Fireman survives 8th heart attack, saved by fellow firefighters while responding to call