France honors Paris teacher who saved jogger’s life

PARIS — The French government gave a medal Monday to a math teacher-volunteer fighter who used CPR to save the life of a jogger in a Paris park, a gesture that has drawn national attention to the importance of first aid training.

The jogger’s wife, Paris-based Associated Press journalist Lori Hinnant, helped identify the anonymous rescuer by putting up thank-you signs in Monceau Park, where her husband Peter Sigal went into cardiac arrest on April 28.

Multiple passersby intervened when he collapsed. Marion Dehecq, a 24-year-old math teacher who works as a volunteer firefighter a few days a month, performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Others helped by counting the compressions and applying a public defibrillator installed in the park.

“You saved my husband’s life,” Hinnant wrote on the signs to the mysterious helper. “Thank you, from our whole family.”

Once Dehecq was identified, French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted his thanks to “our everyday hero,” and wished the now-recovering Sigal and his family well.

On Monday, France’s minister for citizenship issues, Marlene Schiappa, gave Dehecq a bronze medal for courage and dedication in a ceremony at the Paris fire service headquarters.