NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A big honor Thursday for a North Richland Hills man who rushed to save a coworker who was having a heart attack at the office.
Dave France received a lifesaver award at a ceremony at Medical City North Hills.
In September 2018, a colleague of more than 20 years, Bruce Richards collapsed.
“I knew that my friend, Bruce, was dying right in front of me,” France recalled about the incident at ID Technology, in northeast Fort Worth. “I asked our human resources manager, Kaira Day, to call 9-1-1 and yelled for somebody to get me the AED. Even though it had been years since I took that CPR class, it all came back to me. I followed the instructions on the AED, and it started talking and telling me what to do until the emergency responders arrived.”
France used the automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock Richards’ heart twice before emergency crews arrived to take over. Richards suffered four cardiac arrest episodes while being transported to Medical City North Hills, where he had a stent placed in his heart and underwent open-heart surgery. All of the lifesaving measures paid off – Richards was able to return to work in December and celebrated his 64th birthday this week, on April 9.
“If you haven’t taken a CPR class, take one. Tell the people that you love and care about, ‘take one’,” France said.
“Dave France saved my life, along with the first responders who came to our office and the people at Medical City North Hills — there’s no doubt about that,” said Richards, who is currently technical sales coordinator for ID Technology and formerly served on a U.S. Navy submarine. “And, if the AED had not been in our office, I wouldn’t have made it. If every little thing had not fallen together exactly as it did, I would not be here. So, I’m living on bonus time.”
Richards has four children and 15 grandchildren.
He says he’s grateful for everyone who helped him and gave him more time with his family. A large group of his colleagues at ID Technology have signed up to get CPR and AED training.