Walton said although firefighters regularly employ life-saving measures for local residents in the course of their duties, helping to bring a fellow firefighter back to life is something he will never forget.
"It's completely different when it's someone you live a third of your life with," he explained. "It's like working on one of your family members."
Waits remained at Henry Medical until April 3, and was then taken to Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, where he was later told he had a 99 percent blockage of his left anterior descending aorta.
Waits said that prior to his collapse, he had experienced "no signs" of any health problems, and had good results from his most recent physical provided by the county in October.
"I had no dizziness, and no shortness of breath," he said. "It was completely unexpected."
Waits explained that in the days since his brush with death, he has gained more motivation to make the most of his life.
"I died at the station, at that time ... for a reason," said the firefighter. "I believe it was a warning from God saying, 'Something's wrong with you, and you need to get this fixed.'"
Firefighter Petite said local residents should take note of what happened to Waits and learn to use machines such as defibrillators , and other life-saving devices.
"If this happened at Wal-Mart, and there happened to be someone there who was trained in CPR, ... the results may have been the same," Petite said. "Early CPR and defibrillation saves lives."
Brian Waits said he has thanked his fellow firefighters on several occasions for saving his life.
Waits said the collapse has influenced him to "savor every precious minute," and has renewed his commitment to his faith.
"I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior, but was I in church every Sunday? No," he said. "I promise you, I'll be in church every Sunday now."
Waits has yet to return to work, but hopes to do so at the beginning of May. As for other aspects of his future, the firefighter remains equally optimistic.