People who take action and perform CPR in an emergency are heroes. That’s why the American Heart Association is proud to recognize a team of people who performed CPR to save a coworker’s life. Twelve people, including members of the Welch Allyn Emergency Medical Rapid Response Team (WA-EMRT) and other employees, were presented with the Heartsaver Hero Award Tuesday during a celebration of the company’s Syracuse Heart Walk team.
In February, John Sims collapsed during an employee meeting. His heart had stopped due to a prior medical condition. The WA-EMRT sprang into action. One person called 911. Others started CPR and then used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help restart John’s heart. By the time John left for the hospital, he was awake and joking with the team. He is now doing well and is back to work full-time.
“We had the right CPR-trained, skilled people, the right technology, the right time, and the right place,” said Tony Testa, director of the WA-EMRT and Heartsaver Hero Award recipient. “The Chain of Survival is key to positive patient outcome during a cardiac arrest event. It was the ‘perfect storm’ as our patient referred to it.”
The Heartsaver Hero Awards were presented to the following:
- Brett Dieter
- Brian Fornell
- Allan Griffith
- Donna Halstead
- Amy King
- Jim McDonald
- Kevin Mead
- Mike Nicpon
- Janice Riley
- Malorey Skellington
- Tony Testa
- Richard Zellar
The American Heart Association wants everyone to learn CPR and be able to take action like this team. 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 a 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. Thanks to the help of advocates, this process is near the finish line. The Board of Regents supports CPR and AED instruction in schools, and draft regulations are expected soon. Twenty-two other states teach CPR to students prior to graduation.
“These Welch Allyn employees are true heroes,” said Franklin Fry, executive director of the American Heart Association, who presented the Heartsaver Hero Awards. “We can have more heroes if everyone, including students, learns CPR.”