Anchorage man saves life, earns top American Red Cross honor
For GCI cable technician Ryan Gallegos, taking care of the customer and ensuring a good experience comes second nature when making a call in the field. But what started as a typical house call on July 6, 2018, turned into a matter of life and death.
"Last summer, I was working in the field and I got a trouble ticket at somebody's home. Gave them a call when I was on my way over and nobody answered," Gallegos said. "When I arrived onsite, a guy answered the door. He said he didn't live at the house, asked why I was there. Told him I was there to fix the television."
As Gallegos entered the home, he said he noticed a man on the couch that seemed to be unresponsive. After talking with the man who answered the door, Gallegos decided to call 911.
"911 instructed me to go ahead and start CPR, which luckily I was trained in, so I felt comfortable in doing so," Gallegos said.
Gallegos said he was prepared thanks to training he got on the job. He said he's worked for GCI for roughly 13 years, thankful the company provided CPR training through the American Red Cross of Alaska.
Gallegos said his ability to perform CPR kept the man alive while first responders were en route, which only took around four minutes.
"By the time everything got done, they wheeled him out on a stretcher and they were loading him up into the ambulance and they looked at me and they said he's only still breathing because of what I did for him that day," Gallegos said, admitting he was in the right place at the right time.
Red Cross of Alaska CEO Tanguy Libbrecht called Gallegos a true hero.
"We like to recognize those heroes," Libbrecht said.
Libbrecht presented Gallegos with the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit last week. He said the certificate is the highest honor the Red Cross can bestow. It's signed by the president and is a tradition dating back to 1918.
"It really is intended to recognize folks who save or sustain a life from skills that they've used and that they have learned in our training services courses," Libbrecht said. "We have a variety of those available online. Folks can go take those, and I encourage you, absolutely, take a class."
GCI is the parent company of KTVA Channel 11 .
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