BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --
City of Bakersfield Parks workers Greg Muro and Bill Patterson went above and beyond the call of duty by using CPR to save the life of a man at Wayside Park on July 31.
The two men were taking an 8 a.m. break when, according to Patterson, a woman nearby started screaming and yelling saying a man in the park was not breathing.
Patterson called 911 and relayed instructions given by the operator. Muro performed chest compressions while the unresponsive man's friend did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Patterson said by the time he and Muro got to the man, he was not breathing, turning blue and his eyes were rolled back.
"(Muro) jumped in there like a trooper and started doing CPR," Patterson said. "Greg did it all; I just gave him the instructions from the 911 operator on the phone."
Muro was just as humble as Patterson: "I didn't panic. You just do what you have to and it will be alright. He was real pale, but he came back and he was breathing by the time paramedics got there."
The men continued CPR until paramedics arrived about five minutes later.
Parks Superintendent Darin Budak said he's proud of his workers. "Anytime somebody saves a life, it's a very gratifying feeling not only for the employee, but for the employer, as well. I'm glad that we were able to provide the training that saves lives." Muro volunteered for the optional CPR training sponsored by the City in December 2008.
"Like I told Greg right after the incident, ‘All of us touch people's lives but not too many of us save people's lives,'" Budak said.
Three City lifeguards also saved a life outside of work on July 20. First-year Aquatics Specialist Rudy Castro was walking through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park on a break between pool activities when he heard people screaming. A pregnant woman was not responding and her breathing was shallow. 17-year-old Rudy performed an initial assessment, called 911 and ran back to the pool to get the pool manager and some rescue equipment. Rudy began rescue breathing on the woman while Pool Manager Erik-Ty Torres and another 17-year-old pool employee assisted.
"Just as the ambulance pulled up, the woman started breathing again on her own," said City Recreation Supervisor David Stricker. "They really did a great job. We received emails from a police officer and a City firefighter complimenting the guys on how well they performed."
Stricker said City pool lifeguards receive 100 hours of training, close to what Emergency Medical Technicians are required to have. Lifeguards are not required to perform rescues outside of the pool area as part of their job. Stricker said they are instructed to call 9-1-1, but anything they do beyond that outside of the pool, they are doing on their own behalf.
Information provided by the SEIU Local 521
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