The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE student uses skills to save fellow student

David Phillips
David Phillips

By Brandy Voirin/ reporter

It’s hard to know if another person would make the split-second decision to help or not.

But that’s what student David Phillips did.

David Phillips
David Phillips

Ten minutes before Phillips’ NE class started Oct. 7, history instructor Andrew Hollinger rushed into the hallway to phone a nurse for help.

“A DSS student fell to the ground,” Hollinger later said. “And the whole room broke out in a panic. I ran to the hallway to phone for help.”

As Hollinger explained the situation over the phone to the nurse, Phillips started asking what was going on. Hollinger was surprised but quickly continued both conversations.

“First, I asked the student, ‘Are you certified to help?’” he said. “Then he ran off his list of certifications and rushed right in.”

Seven to eight minutes had passed, and Hollinger was still waiting for medical personnel.

“Those minutes felt like an eternity,” he said. “I think the student performed CPR. Whatever he was doing, it was working.”

Hollinger was previously trained in CPR in the military, but his certifications are not up to date.

“There was nothing I could do to help but wait on both ends,” he said. “Wait for the student to respond to what the other student was doing, wait for the nurse to come. And next thing I knew, the student seemed OK, and the nurse had arrived.”

Phillips gave way to the medical personnel and walked into the classroom next door to his normal second-row seat in his Introduction to the Teaching Profession class.

Minutes later, Hollinger interrupted education professor Rosa Mendez’s class.

“I just wanted to acknowledge this student for his work,” he said. “The young man reached out of his normal life to help a student in need in my class.”

The whole class clapped.

Phillips shared no details with the class of what occurred.

Mendez said she was shocked that Phillips never mentioned what happened.

“David is truly a humble hero and leader,” she said. “I always knew there was something special about him. All semester, he’s stood out like a light bulb, and now I know why. It is his character.”

Hollinger said the student is now fine, and David should be commended for his actions.

“In my 10-plus years of teaching, I have never seen anything like it,” Hollinger said. “He didn’t worry about being late to class. He was there in what could have been a dire situation and saved the day. He had the right skills to help at the right time, and he did.”

Although a volunteer firefighter, Phillips, who has trained with veterans in law enforcement, describes himself as bashful and said he’s helped others in similar situations before.

“Only difference when it all comes down to it when it’s life or death is if they live or not,” he said. “That’s all that matters. Some I’ve been able to save, and others I haven’t. I’m still dealing with the thoughts over the ones I couldn’t help.”

Phillips doesn’t see himself as a hero.

“I just had the privilege of being chosen to help,” he said. “I did what had to be done.”

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