On July 18, 2018, Orange County Lifeguard Michael Longobardo was among a group of lifeguards called to respond to a tragic incident in the Emerald Bay area of Laguna Beach. Bystanders alerted the lifeguards to a 15-year-old boy who was walking on the cliffs with his friend when a large boulder fell on him, pinning him to the cliff and amputating his arm.
While his fellow lifeguards provided aid, Supervisor Longobardo assisted with communications and medical gear, requesting paramedics, a helicopter, rescue equipment and lifeguard resources to help free the young boy from entrapment.
As resources arrived on scene, Supervisor Longobardo and his fellow lifeguards stayed with the patient, ensuring he remained stabilized, calm and reassured as rescue crews worked to safely clear the boulder. The boy was stabilized and transported to the hospital in less than three hours, where doctors were able to reattach his arm.
The American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region recently had the great honor of recognizing Michael Longobardo with the prestigious American Red Cross Lifesaving Award, which recognizes and honors individuals and teams who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross training class.
“Together, we can inspire others to learn important lifesaving skills by sharing real-life success stories like that of Supervisor Longobardo,” said Linda Voss, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region, which serves Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
“The mission of the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. When we hear about people who have utilized their Red Cross training to help save lives - there’s truly nothing better than that,” continued Voss.
The Red Cross is proud to empower ordinary people to perform extraordinary acts in emergency situations. American Red Cross Training Services teaches lifesaving skills to an average of more than 9 million people each year in businesses, schools and communities, and uses the latest proven science and a blended approach to teaching that includes lectures and hands-on skills sessions for students. Every year, thousands of people in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties receive Red Cross training in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives.
“It was a wonderful experience and recognition of the lifeguard team and Supervisor Longobardo. We could not be more emotionally moved by the moment,” said Board Chair David Engwall of the American Red Cross serving Orange County, who presented Supervisor Longobardo with the Lifesaving Award.
For more information, or if you know someone who should be nominated for a Lifesaving Award, visit LifesavingAwards.org.