In 2018, St. Simon’s Island, GA resident, Dan Meyers pulled his 3-yr-old son from a friend’s pool; then tirelessly performed chest compressions and rescue breaths until paramedics arrived. On September 18, 2019, Red Cross representatives traveled to the St. Simon’s United Methodist Church to honor Mr. Meyers with the highest award given by the American Red Cross: The Certificate of Merit.
“Our faith is strong,” said Dan’s wife, Jennifer Meyers. “Having this ceremony at our church, especially knowing how much God was on our side that day, it is just perfect.”
The horrific incident occurred on May 25, 2018. Mr. Meyers was helping to prepare food when his then three-year-old son, Kaden, jumped into the pool without his floating device. Immediately, Mr. Meyers went into action and retrieved his son from the water. Once back on deck, he noticed his son was not responsive, so he instantly dialed 911. With the 911 dispatcher on speaker, Mr. Meyers began chest compressions—and continued, without respite, until Emergency Medical Services arrived. At this time, little Kaden was breathing, but remained unresponsive. He was taken to the local hospital, treated and later released.
Today, Kaden is happy, healthy and full of life.
“I have been Red Cross trained since high school,” Dan Meyers said. “All I was thinking was that my kid was going to breathe again—no matter how long it took. I was not going to stop performing CPR until he could breathe.”
Red Cross Aquatic Territory Specialist, Lindsey Ross, presented Mr. Meyers with his Certificate of Merit, an official Citation - describing the 2018 incident - and a Red Cross lifesaving medal.
“There are no words to describe how good it feels to know that Red Cross skills helped to save a life—especially the life of a young child.” Lindsey Ross said.
The Red Cross lifesaving awards program has a rich history. It began in 1911, when an anonymous donor contacted the National American Red Cross wishing to make a $5,000 donation to recognize first aid work rendered by railway men. After acceptance of the money, a trust fund was established and named after the current President of the United States, the Honorable William Howard Taft. The fund issued cash awards of up to $50 to recipients—and this practice continued until 1928 when the Certificate of Merit was established to provide a more fitting and lasting recognition to a larger circle of nominees.
Today, in addition to the Certificate of Merit, which is signed by the president of the United States, Red Cross lifesaving awards consist of two additional honors: The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action, for individuals and teams who have saved or sustained a life and are not Red Cross trained; and The Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, for Red Cross trained Professional Responders and Healthcare Professionals acting to save or sustain a life while on duty.
Emergencies can happen at anytime and anywhere—even in the safety of one’s own home. As preparedness month winds down and we continue to stress the importance of staying informed, getting Red Cross trained is a must. Please take a moment to locate a training services course near you, by visiting RedCross.org, to have the knowledge and skills needed to follow Dan Meyers’ lead and potentially help to save the life of someone very close to you.