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Red Cross Certificate of Merit presented for using training skills to save a life
SAN FRANCISCO – May 8, 2019 — On July 22, 2018, Kelly Selena Villarreal called on her American Red Cross training in at the First St. Alehouse in Livermore, CA to save the life of a woman when she began to choke on a piece of lettuce from her salad. Kelly identified another person’s attempting abdominal thrusts to be unsuccessful and took control of the situation and successfully administered two back blows forcing the item out. For this heroic and lifesaving action, Ms. Villarreal today received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit in a ceremony at the Bay Area Chapter’s Board of Directors Meeting.
The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course.
“We’re extremely proud to present a Certificate of Merit to Kelly Selena Villarreal,” said Jonathan Velline, Board of Directors Chair, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. Her actions exemplify our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.”
On the date of July 22, 2018, Kelly Selena Villarreal, an American Red Cross instructor, trained in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/ARD, helped to save the life of a woman who began to choke while eating at the First St. Alehouse in Livermore, CA. Ms. Villarreal was working her shift at the restaurant. A woman by the name of Lisa B. was dinning in the patio with someone else when she began to choke on a piece of lettuce from her salad. In an attempt to dislodge the item, Lisa left the gated patio, entering the parking lot in an attempt to discreetly cough it up but quickly realized she was going to need help. Lisa then re-entered the gated patio area displaying the universal sign for choking to her companion who followed her back out to the parking lot but was untrained in how to respond, at which point a nearby table noticed what was going on and another woman came to assist. That is when Ms. Villarreal encountered bystanders standing around a woman between the parking lot and patio area.
Upon closer inspection, Ms. Villarreal immediately realized what was transpiring. A good Samaritan from another table nearby was already in the processes of attempting abdominal thrusts but Ms. Villareal was able to quickly assess the situation and identify the responder’s technique was going to be unsuccessful in dislodging the item. She announced she was certified to assist. Upon receiving consent, Ms. Villarreal took control on the situation and performed two back blows until the obstruction was dislodged from the woman’s throat. After which Lisa was very grateful for calling Ms. Villarreal her Sunday Angel. Without a doubt, the skills learned in the American Red Cross training services course helped to save a life of this woman.
Red Cross training gives people the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency and save a life. A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session) and classroom courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.
If you or someone you know has used skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit LifesavingAwards.org to nominate, recognize, or be inspired.
About American Red Cross of the Bay Area: 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 call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY (1-888-443-5722) or visit redcross.org/bayarea to learn more. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.