After serious heart attack and coma, Lehigh firefighter thanks his firefighter ‘brothers’

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Rick Pride

First responders at the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue Department are calling it a miracle. One month ago one of their fellow firefighters had a heart attack at station 105 and barely made it to the hospital alive.

“They said this is a one in a million case, where I’m walking away as healthy as I am.” said survivor Rick Pride, “I had tubes coming out of everywhere. Each arm, side of my neck, tubes coming out of my mouth and out of my nose, I was a mess”

Pride fell off a treadmill and hit his head, realizing he wasn’t breathing, Pride’s co-workers jumped into action to save his life.

“They acted fast, put their feelings aside as far as a fellow fireman going down, and did what they had to do and absolutely, 100 percent saved my life,” Pride said.

For the chief, it was close to home, “That day it got pretty personal and they did everything they could to save him. He went into cardiac arrest, he was basically dead,” said Robert Chief Dilallo, “They revived him, they brought him back to life, they delivered him to the hospital and they gave him a chance to fight for his life’ ”

Pride spent a total of 30 days in the hospital of which ten of those were in a coma. The doctors said the chances of him making it were very slim.

“We work on very critically ill and injured people all the time but you never expect to have to do it on one of your own and that’s exactly the case that day,” Dilallo said, adding, “Many of us were thinking we might be planning for a funeral, but hoping for the best”

Tuesday, greeted by fellow firefighters, family and friends, Rick Pride walked out of the hospital. “It changes your perspective on life. I look at my wife and my daughter in a different light” he said.

And he says he’s got his “Brothers” at the fire department to thank, “100 percent active role in saving my life, without them, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have made it to the hospital”

Pride said that throughout the entire duration of his time in the hospital, he has been shown an outpouring of support from the community as well as fellow firefighters throughout the nation.

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