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An Education That Can Save Lives

An Education That Can Save Lives
I witnessed a miracle right before my eyes. I watched a woman who was unresponsive and had turned blue come back to life.

What would you do if a colleague collapsed on the job in front of you?

CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double a victim’s chance of survival. In two North Carolina workplaces, Red Cross training meant the difference between life and death.


An ordinary day at Food Lion’s Salisbury, N.C., headquarters nearly turned tragic when an employee for the grocery chain collapsed in the store’s parking lot near a site where the Balfour Beatty construction company was conducting renovations.

Two Balfour Beatty supervisors, Stanley Stowe and Bobby Hunter, immediately went to the woman’s aid. While Hunter directed bystanders, Stowe performed CPR on the woman for 15 minutes until Emergency Medical Services arrived.

“I witnessed a miracle right before my eyes,” said Stowe. “I watched a woman who was unresponsive and had turned blue come back to life.” The two men, who had received Red Cross CPR training, were nominated for a Red Cross award for their actions in this emergency.

In Kings Mountain, N.C., safety manager Mike Matthews of Firestone Fibers & Textile came to the aid of a co-worker suffering from an asthma attack and seizure. Matthews Red Cross training kicked in immediately and quickly gathered a team of other CPR trained staff.

Matthews’ co-worker had no detectable pulse, wasn’t breathing and was turning blue so Matthews and his team jumped into action. While Matthews set up the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), two other employees performed rescue breathing and CPR, and a fourth called EMS. The team kept the victim alive until medical help arrived.

“I am confident that without the actions of these team members and the invaluable American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and AED training that prepared them, this employee would not have survived,” Matthews later said.

Stories like these bring home the importance of ensuring that people are trained in First Aid, CPR and the use of an AED, a device that delivers an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, which helps restore the heart’s rhythm.

The Red Cross offers a comprehensive workplace First Aid/CPR/AED program. This training, which can be given in the workplace by certified Red Cross instructors, prepares people to provide immediate care to an ill or injured person until the arrival of more advanced medical personnel. Courses are also available for people without certification requirements.

Ensuring your coworkers and household members know what to do in a medical emergency is just a click away at

Tags: CPR, AED.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.