Manteca Ambulance EMT Philip Garcia was honored at an awards luncheon in San Francisco for saving the life of a competing softball player suffering a heart attack on a hot July day in Turlock.
Garcia was among 24 first responders from throughout the state who were singled out by the Emergency Medical Services Authority (CEMSA) for their quick life-saving actions.
The Manteca EMT received two framed commendations at the luncheon including a resolution from the State of California Assembly.
Dr. Howard Backer, director of CEMSA, noted that the annual awards honor and recognize exceptional acts and service by individuals working or volunteering in California’s emergency medical system.
“I am pleased to announce a select group of EMS professionals who exhibit excellence and exceptional service,” Backer said. “These men and women epitomize the spirit of caring and commitment to quality healthcare that embodies these awards. They deserve official recognition for their contributions in making California’s EMS system one of the best in the world.”
Garcia was honored for rushing to the aid of a 6-foot-4, almost 300-pound softball player, Troy Brady, who collapsed on a softball field last July in Turlock.
“Without hesitation, Garcia, who was playing against Brady at the time, took lifesaving action to rescue the competing player. He immediately initiated (chest) compressions while other players called 911, scrambled to set up canopies for shade, opened the field gates and guided the ambulance inside the park,” the commendation states.
Eye witnesses reported the player turned blue and appeared to be lifeless. Garcia’s “swift action” was credited with the patient’s breathing being sustained and ultimately saving his life. Ironically, neither the victim or Garcia were scheduled to be there that day and both came to play at the last minute.
According to the patient’s doctor, Brady is alive today because of Garcia’s quick and decisive actions. The softball director hugged Philip and thanked him, the commendation reads. He was reported to be calm and in control of the situation that made both teams and spectators feel safer with him around.
Garcia told the director, “Unfortunately, it’s something I deal with on a day-to-day basis and it is just a natural reaction to jump in and help.”
The award ceremony, held at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel, was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Hospital Council of Northern & Central California, Medic Ambulance, Bound Tree Medical, California Professional Firefighters, American Medical Response, California Fire Chiefs Association and the California Ambulance Association.
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