Emergencies can happen at any time: in the grocery store parking lot, at a family wedding, on a hot day at the community pool or even at the office and inside your very own home. But regardless of when and where they occur, emergency situations usually have one thing in common: a crowd of people standing around, staring at a victim—wondering who should act and trying to remember what to do.
That is, until a hero emerges from the crowd.
This week, the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania was happy to recognize four local heroes who went above and beyond to save two lives. CEO Guy J. Triano presented the nominees with their awards at the region’s headquarters in Philadelphia on December 10.
The first incident happened on October 6, 2016. Allison Keeports, trained in American Red Cross Adult First Aid/ CPR/ AED and Nurse Assistant Training, helped to save the life of a man who had collapsed on a shuttle bus in West Chester. Shortly after the bus left the hospital the man became unconscious and slumped over in his seat. Keeports and her fellow classmates lowered the man to the floor and began chest compressions while another classmate conducted respirations.
Someone called 911 and police and an ambulance arrived within three minutes. EMS continued to provide care. The man was transported to a local hospital, treated and later released. Without a doubt, the skills learned in the American Red Cross Training Services course helped to save the life of this person. For this act, Allison Keeports was awarded the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.
On November 28, 2018, a student at Ben Franklin High School in Philadelphia experienced a cardiac emergency. The student had entered a teacher’s classroom, sat down and abruptly slumped sideways as he fell to the floor. The teacher immediately grabbed her phone to call the school nurse, Donna Santos. Santos arrived on scene and determined the student was not breathing and had no pulse. With the help of other teachers who came to help, she began performing chest compressions.
Santos exclaimed for those surrounding her to call 911 and to obtain an AED. One fellow teacher grabbed the AED and ran to the classroom. Santos set up the AED and it started to assess the student as Santos performed rescue breaths. Counselor, Kadedra Haynes and athletic director Dennis Sheedy took turns applying chest compressions. The AED advised to shock, and all stood clear. The student did not respond. The AED advised staff to resume chest compressions once more. The AED shocked the student three more times before the student started to respond. Emergency Medical Responders arrived shortly after and transported the student to the hospital for further treatment. Without a doubt, the skills learned in the American Red Cross Training Services course helped to save the life of this person.
For this act, Dennis Sheedy received the American Red Cross Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders. Donna Santos and Kadedra Haynes were each awarded with the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.
Know someone you’d like to nominate for a Lifesaving Award? You can find all the information about the program at https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/lifesaving.