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Walla Walla YMCA Lifequard to receive American Red Cross Certificate of Merit

Walla Walla, WA (March 12, 2019) – Colby Turner is a senior at Walla Walla High School (Wa-Hi) and has been a part-time lifguard at the Walla Walla YMCA for four years. He recently was chosen to receive the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.

Colby became eligible for the award following events that occurred during a Wa-Hi track meet on Saturday, April 21, 2018. That day, Colby and his friend Jacob, who has asthma, were competing in the track meet. Jacob had just finished the 400 meters dash when Colby noticed that his friend’s breathing was labored. Colby asked that someone get Jacob’s asthma inhaler while he had Jacob sit down in a position that made breathing easier. As the two teens talked, Jacob suddely experienced a seizure.

Colby, who has received Red Cross-certified first aid, CPR and automated external defribillator (AED) training as a Walla Walla YMCA lifeguard, immediately asked the athletic trainer to summon help and retrieve the first aid kit. He then rolled Jacob onto his side to clear his throat and airway. As the seizure subsided, Colby rolled his friend onto his back and continued to asses breathing and pulse. Finding that Jacob had no pulse, Colby immediately began chest compressions. When the AED was brought by other responders, Colby attached the device pads to Jacob’s chest and, following the unit’s automated indicators adminstered two shocks. Jacob revived and was then transported by emergency medical personnel to the hospital for observation. He was later flown to Spokane for advanced treatment, where he continued to recover.

As a result of Colby’s training and the positive outcome achieved, the American Red Cross nominated Colby for the award, which is the highest award given by the American Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Health and Safety Services course. The award will be presented to Colby by Peggy Hoggarth and Brian Hoffmeister of the American Red Cross on March 15, 2019 at the YMCA.

For additional information contact:

Karen Hedine, CEO
Walla Walla YMCA
509-525-8663

Peggy Hoggarth, Executive Director
American Red Cross
509-412-4088

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