Written by: Rusty Surette / American Red Cross Public Affairs
Recently, an American Red Cross volunteer proved why everyone should be certified in CPR and First Aid.
Israel Pinkney, 55, was working in wildfire-ravaged Bastrop, Texas when someone suddenly yelled into a crowd, "who knows first aid?"
Pinkney, a former Emergency Medical Technician, immediately ran across the street to a car parked outside a gas station. Inside the vehicle was an elderly man having chest pains. His wife was with him and pleaded for help.
"He was having difficulty breathing and I knew he was likely having a heart attack," said Pinkney. "I told his wife to call 9-1-1 immediately."
Pinkney, a Louisville, Kentucky resident, stayed with the man to monitor his symptoms and condition until paramedics arrived. Pinkney also kept the gathering crowd calm and collective.
"You just never know when this kind of thing will happen," said Pinkney who joined the American Red Cross in May 2010.
"It just proves that everyone should know CPR and First Aid, or at least have one person in your house who knows it. You just never know when it will be used or when someone will need you."
To find a CPR / First Aid / AED class near you, go online to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.