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Santa Clara man hailed for saving stranger's life with CPR

Santa Clara man hailed for CPR life-saving action
Santa Clara man hailed for CPR life-saving action 02:17

SANTA CLARA -- A Santa Clara man recently received a hero's welcome from a local fire department because of his actions that saved the life of a total stranger.

Bruce Richardson described the moment he jumped into action on during a typical day in Los Gatos.

Los Gatos CPR rescue
Los Gatos CPR rescue. CBS

"I saw the guy collapse, and I immediately jumped over to him and took his pulse and realized he did not have a pulse and started CPR. At the same time, I indicated to people to call 911 and get them here ASAP," he said. 

He was one of several people out enjoying the day when another man complaining of shortness of breath collapsed to the ground. Richardson started doing chest compressions until paramedics could arrive.

First responders said his quick action likely made the difference.

"If CPR is administered right after, it can double or triple chance of survival," a firefighter said. "Only about 40% of people get the help they need from bystanders before first responders."

Once paramedics arrived, they got the man conscious again and took him to a local hospital for further treatment. He survived, but if Richardson hadn't acted quickly, it could have been a much different story.

Learning CPR was especially important for Richardson after he lost a loved one to a similar emergency. 

"When I was 15, I watched my dad die from a heart attack. Led me to taking CPR," Richardson explained. "My twin brother actually died about nine months ago from a heart attack. CPR is important to me."

And it paid off. 

Recently, at the Los Gatos Fire Department, Richardson and the first responders were reunited with the man they helped save. It was an experience that wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for quick thinking and some simple training.

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