When Joseph Bagliere took a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course at Emanuel Medical Center in March he had no idea that he would use his new-found skills so soon.
It was a normal workday for Bagliere at Lowe’s Home Improvement on April 4. He was working in the Lawn and Garden section of the Turlock store when a customer suddenly collapsed. The customer — Alvin Silva — started shaking and then turned blue from lack of oxygen.
“We were shopping when suddenly my husband collapsed,” said Charlene Silva. “We could see he wasn’t breathing. Joseph jumped right in. He couldn’t find a pulse so he started CPR. About a minute later he started breathing again.
“Joseph was like an angel, there at the right time.”
When the Turlock City Fire crew arrived on scene, Alvin Silva was breathing and they were able to stabilize him for transport by ambulance to the hospital. Cpt. Kane Packwood of Turlock City Fire Engine-33 was so impressed by Bagliere’s quick actions, he recommended the college student for a commendation.
“The highest level of public safety can only be achieved if the public is involved,” Packwood said.
On Friday, Turlock Fire Chief Tim Lohman presented Bagliere with an official commendation at Lowe’s during an employee team meeting. Bagliere was surprised to see Chief Lohman, the crew from Fire Engine 33, and, most of all, Alvin and Charlene Silva at his work. Charlene Silva immediately wrapped Bagliere in a hug and thanked him for his heroic actions.
“When you save a life, how can you put into words how much you thank them?” she asked.
“I think it’s just a shining example of what an individual will do for another and why Turlock is a great place to live,” said Lohman.
Bagliere said he didn’t think twice about helping Alvin Silva when he saw him turning blue.
“But right after it hit me like a rush,” he said. “It was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
This may not be Bagliere’s last experience with medical emergencies, as he is hoping to one day become a doctor.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.