North Texas man thanks co-worker, first responders who saved his life

A Weatherford man is alive thanks to a quick-thinking co-worker, a life-saving device, and first responders.

On Thursday, Bruce Richards got the chance to thank the people who saved him.

Richards said he had a heart attack that came out of nowhere.

Fortunately, a co-worker trained in CPR decades before instantly recalled his training and remembered his company had an AED on site.

“I always said, I’m finished. I’ve done a lot in my life. I’ve been around the world,” Richards said.

But that’s changed for the father of four and grandfather of 15 who once served on submarines in the Navy.

“That’s what I remembered most when I woke up, is I have all that I’m not finished with yet,” Richards added.

The 64-year-old, who celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, got to thank the people who saved his life, especially his co-worker Dave France.

Last September, Richards had a major heart attack while working at ID Technology.

“When I rolled him over, all over the world, every clock moved forward one second. Mine did too, but that second showed me that my friend was dying,” France said.

France immediately started CPR, and yelled for someone to bring him the automated external defibrillator, or AED.

“It looked like every episode of ER that you’ve ever seen on the TV,” France added. “Paddles, clear, and up came Bruce. Begin chest compressions and there’s a metronome. I just started doing it.”

Those who helped keep him alive, including Fort Worth firefighters and paramedics, were also honored.

“About 20 seconds in, Bruce opens his eyes and tries to sit up while fire is pushing on his chest, and he goes, “Why are you guys pushing on my chest?” and I’m like, “Because you just died,’” said Mark Shepard, with Medstar.

According to the American Heart Association, only 10 percent of people who have heart attacks outside a hospital survive.

With the help of CPR, an AED, and people who care, Richards is now in that 10 percent.

“I want to thank every single person in this room. Y’all are all lifesavers and we’ll forever be grateful for all the efforts in saving my father that day,” said Meghan Richards, Bruce’s daughter.