Embassy Suites Employees Honored by Red Cross After Saving Colleague’s Life

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Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront employees David Thrailkill and Amit Raj, along with their colleague and Red Cross CPR instructor Darryl Smalley (from left to right) were recognized with the Red Cross Lifesaving Award in January.

CPR and first aid classes are something that so many of us are mandated to do in our respective fields. It can become something that we dread if we already feel proficient and have been re-certified countless times. There are times, however, that this class proves most useful and ultimately saves a life.

For years, Darryl Smalley, the security manager of Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront, has been certifying his employees in CPR and first aid. By providing this service to them, Darryl was able to equip two employees with the skills and knowledge that they needed to save a friend and coworker.

On Thursday, June 6, 2019, at about 8 a.m., David Thrailkill, the guest services manager, was walking down the hallway and found his coworker flat on his face, tucked behind a cart in cardiac arrest. David had seen him just 30 minutes prior on the roof of the hotel where they work. He radioed out to Amit Raj, the assistant chief engineer, for help and then called 911.

They had trouble rolling their colleague over because of how he was positioned. It took four people to roll him onto his back in order to start CPR.

The 911 operator gave step by step instructions on what they needed to do as Amit started CPR. There was no response for the first few minutes as David and Amit took turns.

The man gasped once — a sign that CPR was working. Compressions continued with slight gasps coming from the man they assisted as they waited for EMS to arrive. Eventually he was taken to an area hospital for care.

The Embassy Suites team was then assembled in the board room to discuss what had occurred. It was hard to go back over the incident so soon after it had happened, it was said. In the moment, there had been adrenaline and calm, there were tasks to do and composure had to be kept in order to save a life.

When David and Amit went to the hospital later that day, it was shocking to see their coworker in his present state. David and Amit had been preparing for the worst but they were relieved to see him conscious.

Months later, that day is not one that David or Amit will forget. “The CPR class is the best way that you could spend six hours of your day,” said David.

Other employees at the hotel have shown interest in becoming trained in CPR as well. This incident showed hotel staff how important it is to be prepared and to have a team that is well trained.

David and Amit were recognized by the American Red Cross in January with a national Lifesaver Award, signed by President Donald Trump, the honorary chairman of the Red Cross.

If you know someone who has saved a life after taking Red Cross CPR or first aid training, you can nominate them here.

CPR In High School Legislation Passes First Committee

Sacramento, CA, (Wednesday, April 6, 2016) – Today, the Assembly Education Committee approved Assembly Bill 1719, authored by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D – Chino) on a 6-0 vote. The measure stands to create a generation of lifesavers by ensuring high school students learn CPR before they graduate high school.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States yet too few people know how to perform CPR,” says Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “Our lawmakers have a bill before them that could create a generation of lifesavers by requiring hands-on CPR training before high school graduation. We support AB 1719 as it will better prepare our students; therefore, build prepared communities.”

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Nearly 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, and sadly, only 10 percent survive. In addition, a recent study by the National Institutes of Health shows CPR to be effective in children and adolescents who suffer from non-traumatic cardiac arrest due to drowning, electrocution, or choking. Despite these statistics, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac or drowning emergency because they do not know how to perform CPR.  Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

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Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez (District 52)

“CPR is one of the most important life skills a person can have,” said Rodriguez. “By teaching CPR in high school, we are sending students into the world with essential, life-saving skills.”

Under AB 1719, school districts would be required to teach hands-only CPR in any required high school course, such as P.E. or Health. The bill is co-sponsored by the American Red Cross and American Heart Association who have led the effort to pass similar legislation in 27 other states.

“The American Heart Association’s goal is to teach lifesaving CPR skills to as many teens and young adults as possible in California to help keep our communities safer, year after year,” said Dr. Franklin Pratt, medical director of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “Having a new generation of lifesavers will deliver an increased amount of safety and security to all of our communities.”

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Assemblymember Rodriguez is Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Local Emergency Preparedness, and Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management.  He represents the 52nd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona and portions of unincorporated Fontana

Day 9:Pizza Boy Turned Pizza Man

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In the spirit of #GiveWithMeaning, we’re counting down the stories that inspired us, humbled us and make us proud to be Red Crossers.

Our first story is about 19 year-old Anson Lemmer, a pizza delivery boy. When he went on a routine pizza delivery run, his Red Cross babysitter training was far from his mind. But that delivery turned into a chance for Anson to save a stranger’s life using the CPR skills he learned from the Red Cross. His unforgettable quote – “I left a pizza boy and returned a pizza man” leaves us applauding, and wondering: Who is the next Anson? You could end up saving the life of someone you love dearly – or the life of a total stranger. Find Red Cross courses available in your area.