American Heart Association honors three with Heartsaver Hero Awards

Heartsaver Hero Award presentation
Patti stoiko, Fran Secondo, Franklin Fry, and Ron Howard

The American Heart Association is proud to recognize two Wegmans employees and a nurse who took action to help keep a woman alive. Fran Secondo, Ron Howard, and Patti Stoiko were presented with the Heartsaver Hero Award Friday morning at the Wegmans on South Meadow Street in Ithaca.

Last December, a customer at Wegmans collapsed. Two Wegmans employees, Fran Secondo and Ron Howard, along with nurse Patti Stoiko who was shopping at the time, responded and worked together to keep the woman alive until EMTs arrived. 911 was called while Secondo and Stoiko performed CPR. Howard went to get the store’s AED, although it was not needed in this case. When EMTs arrived, they congratulated Secondo, Howard, and Stoiko on their good work keeping the woman alive.

The American Heart Association wants everyone to learn CPR and be able to take action like these three heroes. American Heart Association volunteers have worked for years to have a CPR in Schools law in New York that would ensure all students learn Hands-Only CPR before they graduate. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed ta modified CPR in Schools law in October. The new law calls for the State Education Department and the Board of Regents to determine if students should learn this lifesaving skill. Twenty-one other states teach CPR to students prior to graduation.

“Fran Secondo, Ron Howard, and Patti Stoiko are true heroes,” said American Heart Association Executive Director Franklin Fry, who presented the Heartsaver Hero Award. “We can have more heroes if everyone, including students, learns CPR.”

“The important thing is to not be afraid,” said Stoiko. “Chest compressions are what keep the circulation going, and that’s the important thing. Don’t be afraid to take action.”

Wegmans has provided the opportunity for several employees at the store to be prepared in case of emergencies. Secondo is not only trained in CPR himself, but through this program he also trains other employees.

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