HARDWICK TOWNSHIP, NJ — Last fall, a Delaware man called on his American Red Cross training in CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use when faced with an unknown medical emergency while dining out with friends.
For his heroic and lifesaving actions, Jack Dirr today received the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit in a ceremony at a Boy Scout camp in northwestern New Jersey. The American Red Cross Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to individuals, a group or off duty professional responders who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course.
“We’re extremely proud of Jack for displaying the highest degree of concern of one human being for another who is in distress,” said Theresa Young, Executive Director of the Delmarva Chapter of the American Red Cross. “His actions exemplify our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.”
Dirr, of Bear, Del., is a 20-year instructor of the American Red Cross Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers course.
While on a cross country trip to Arizona in Sept. 2018, Dirr was dining out with friends at the Rustler's Rooste in Phoenix. He observed commotion several tables away and immediately went to assist a woman who was laying on the floor. After an assessment, Dirr started chest compressions and rescue breathes while the restaurant manager went to obtain the AED. The AED was setup and advised to shock. All stood clear as the AED offered a shock. Dirr evaluated the victim once more and continued chest compressions. A second AED shock was given. Emergency medical services arrived and continued care. The woman was then transported to a local hospital, treated and later released.
The award was presented by American Red Cross New Jersey Region Executive Director Christy Hodde on behalf of the American Red Cross at Camp Nobebosco in the mountainous part of the state where Dirr is teaching life-sustaining skills to Boys Scouts this summer including first aid and CPR/AED.
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.
The American Red Cross Lifesaving Award program was established in 1911 and receives about 150 nominations annually. There are two other categories of lifesaving awards – the Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, for Red Cross trained professional responders and healthcare workers while on duty, and the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action, for individuals and teams that are not Red Cross trained. Each award is signed by the President of the United States and executive leaders of the American Red Cross.
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.