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FPL employee saves a life with quick thinking [VIDEO]
Caption: Tony Rodriguez, Executive Vice President of Power Generation Division (right), presents Jeff van Aaken, Steam Generator Fleet Team Leader (left), with the Chairman’s Lifesaving Award for his heroic actions.
FPL employee, Jeff van Aaken, acted quickly when he witnessed a fellow customer collapse while in line at a local store in Port St. Lucie. Thankfully, due to his recent CPR training at Florida Power and Light, Jeff was equipped to take charge of the situation.
“I heard a scream and turned to see a man displaying all the signs of a heart attack. He hit his head pretty hard as he fell and I think the blood shocked the patrons,” said Jeff. “He looked dead; a crowd gathered around him but seemed paralyzed and unsure what to do.”
Jeff sprang into action, relying on his classroom experience to calm his nerves and guide his instincts.
“In training, they tell you don’t think – do; every second counts. Any hesitation to administer CPR can result in brain damage to the victim or even worse – the inability to resuscitate. I rushed to the man and began performing CPR.”
Jeff continued CPR for over ten minutes until paramedics arrived. Thanks to Jeff’s efforts, the man had regained a pulse and began to breathe once more. The paramedics were able to stabilize the man and rush him to the hospital.
When he heard of his nomination for the Chairman’s Lifesaving Award – an award designed to recognize employees who have gone above and beyond to help somebody in a life-threatening situation – Jeff was hesitant to accept.
“Anyone with CPR experience would have done the same. I hope that sharing my story will encourage others to take the company-sponsored training. They teach you that CPR is most commonly used to save the life of your child, spouse, family member or neighbor. It could literally mean the difference between life and death for those closest to you.”
Jeff exchanged phone numbers with the victim’s wife and has kept in touch.
“The last I heard the heart attack victim, John, had received a replacement pacemaker and is recovering well. He had no brain damage, but no recollection of the incident. The doctor told me he survived solely because of receiving CPR – that was a good feeling,” said Jeff.
To learn more about CPR training, visit your local American Red Cross chapter.