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Livermore man reunites with first responders who saved his life to thank them

Livermore man reunites with first responders who saved his life
Livermore man reunites with first responders who saved his life 02:59

Despite being on the front lines of life-and-death situations, being a first responder can be a thankless job, which made one reunion on Wednesday extra special.

There were hugs and tears at Falck headquarters in Livermore. It was a truly emotional moment for paramedic Dave Raymond. It was the first time a patient stopped by to say thank you.

"I've been in this county for 32 years, and guess what? You're the first," Raymond said. "To be able to have the opportunity to say hi. I can't express the joy that I'm feeling and being able to talk to you."

Raymond and EMT Jason Vera helped save Jeff Herrington's life roughly five months ago. The 53-year-old went into cardiac arrest and came very close to leaving his wife and their two kids, just 12 and 13 behind. "I was dead for 20 minutes, and I came back," Herrington said. "They don't get gratitude; they don't get it enough. I recognize that and I needed to be here to thank them."

Herrington is a former BART police officer. He knew he had a heart condition but admitted he didn't take the best care of his health. But after getting a second chance to watch his kids grow up. He's not taking anything for granted anymore. "Their efforts mean something to me," Herrington said. "Their efforts mean I'm taking full advantage of the moment. That my life span is going to be way longer than it would've been because I'm living better. Just taking advantage of the beautiful gift they gave me because of their hard work."

As a former military officer, Dave Raymond gave Herrington a challenge coin as a symbol of the bond these men will share for the rest of their lives.

"Speechless, grateful and hope people learn that it takes a team and we're just a part of it," Raymond said.

That team gave one of the most valuable gifts of all. They'll say it's just part of their job, but they're real-life heroes as they try to save one life at a time.

"It doesn't make a difference who you are, what you believe in, the color of your skin," Raymond said. "Any of that. It doesn't matter. We're human. Life is precious."

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