Bill Wallace and George Thompson never thought they would use their first aid training, but it came in handy on two separate occasions at Philadelphia International (PHL), where the men work. And for that, they have been given the American Red Cross’ highest individual honor.
Wallace, a maintenance coordinator at the airport, called on his training in using automated external defibrillators when a passenger collapsed on a moving walkway in the Terminal E bridge on May 27. Wallace used the AED on the male, who was then taken to a local hospital where he survived.
Thompson, who is a building maintenance supervisor at PHL and a certified Red Cross trainer, helped a friend who suffered a head injury after falling down a flight of stairs and hitting his head on a concrete basement floor on Christmas Eve. Thompson went to the basement, identified himself as a Red Cross instructor, told people not to move him and advised someone what to tell 911 while keeping the man immobile and calm until paramedics arrived. The man suffered bleeding on the brain and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit, but was ultimately released.
The two PHL employees were given the Certificate of Merit, signed by President Barrack Obama, at the organization’s annual Help Can’t Wait Awards ceremony March 26.
“Bill and George each saw someone in medical distress and immediately summoned their training skills to help that person and save a life,” says Mark Gale, CEO of Philadelphia International. “Their quick responses to an emergency situation not only showed that they are caring people, but also underscore the life-saving value of AED and CPR training that we in partnership with the Red Cross offer to all airport employees, as well as the importance of first-aid training that the Red Cross also offers. We are extremely proud of Bill’s and George’s actions in helping to save another life.”
PHL also received the American Red Cross Partner Award for its ongoing partnership with the organization and its commitment to and participation in health and safety programs.
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