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Crediton fire fighter given life saver award
7:00am Friday 25th May 2012 in Devon
A CREDITON firefighter who saved the life of a Cullompton footballer has been honoured for his actions at a special award ceremony.
Chris Richards, who operates a first aid training business and also serves as a firefighter, rushed to help 44-year-old Paul Tapp when he collapsed from a heart attack during the second half of a charity football game at Cullompton Rangers Football Club.
Mr Tapp had turned purple and stopped breathing by the time Mr Richards arrived at his side. While a player removed Mr Tapp’s shirt, Mr Richards used a defibrillator on Mr Tapp’s chest before giving him CPR.
The footballer was unconscious for around 25 seconds before gasping and starting to breathe again.
He was taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital immediately after the incident where he stayed overnight before having an angiogram the next day.
The surprise award was given to Mr Richards for his courageous efforts by Zoll UK Ltd, the company that makes the defibrilator used to save Mr Tapp's life.
Mr Tapp, who now has a stent implanted and is back at work as a commercial vehicle mechanic, said: “If it hadn’t been for Chris having a defibrillator at the match, I wouldn’t be here today.
“That day was my son’s 16th birthday. I now get to celebrate more birthdays with him.”
The football club has since been given its own defibrillator courtesy of an anonymous donation.