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Firefighters among first responders honored for saving Navy vet’s life

Posted April 16, 2019

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group of award winners
Among the first responders recognized for their lifesaving efforts were Lt. Jacob Jaggears, Firefighter Marcos Espinoza and Firefighter Cody Smith.

When Dave France’s colleague of more than 20 years, Bruce Richards, collapsed at their office with a heart attack, France drew on training from a past CPR class to quickly take action. France was honored with a Lifesaver Award, along with Fort Worth Fire Department and MedStar Mobile Healthcare first responders who helped save Richards’ life.

Medical City North Hills honored Fort Worth Fire Department and MedStar Mobile Healthcare crews who cared for Richards on the scene and travelling to the hospital: Fort Worth Fire Lt. Barry Roberts, Lt. Jacob Jaggers, engineers Jason Brawner and Johnnie Davis, and firefighters Charles Moreland, Jose Payan, Marcos Espinoza and Cody Smith, along with MedStar EMT paramedics Mark Shepard and Erik Bonilla.

“I knew that my friend, Bruce, was dying right in front of me,” France recalled about the September 2018 incident at his workplace, ID Technology, in northeast Fort Worth. “I asked our human resources manager, Kaira Day, to call 911 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 recently.

“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.

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