Several inmates of a Texas jail broke out of a holding cell in order to help a guard suffering from an apparent heart attack.

The lone guard was reportedly talking and joking with eight inmates in the Parker County District Court's basement holding area when he suddenly slumped over and lost consciousness.

At first, the inmates thought the guard was joking, but when they realized something was wrong, they began yelling for help.

“He just fell over," inmate Nick Kelton told KHOU News. "Looked like an act. Could have died right there.”

They eventually made enough noise to alert deputies upstairs.

“We were worried they’re going to come with guns drawn on us," Kelton said.

When help arrived, they saw one of the prisoners reaching for the guard's radio, which made things more tense. Thankfully, the inmates were peacefully corralled back into their cell while deputies performed CPR. Paramedics arrived a short time later and managed to restore the distressed guard's pulse.

Kelton said the guard was a good man, and that it never crossed his mind whether or not to help the man.

Another inmate, Floyd Smith, said it only seemed natural to help. Ironically, Smith was in jail for assaulting a public servant. That didn't stop him from trying to help.

The guard, who works for a private contractor, is expected to return to work soon. Meanwhile, the cell from which the prisoners escaped has been reinforced.