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Harden Honored by Red Cross

6/10/09

Gary M. Harden, an attorney in the firm's business section, was one of four Toledo area residents honored by the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross during National CPR/AED Awareness Week. The attorneys and staff of Eastman & Smith extend thanks to Gary, their friend and colleague, as well as those honored this year for their extraordinary personal action and all everyday heroes. For more information on the Red Cross or to inquire about CPR or first aid training, please contact your local American Red Cross chapter or visit www.redcross.org. The article below is republished with permission from The Toledo Free Press.

Red Cross Celebrates Local Heroes

The Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross celebrated National CPR/AED Awareness Week by honoring four people who helped save lives.

"They took the opportunity to be ready to respond to individual emergencies," Tim Yenrick, executive director said at the honorary reception June 2 at the chapter's headquarters on Central Avenue.

The individuals received Red Cross Certificates of Extraordinary Personal Action.

Gary Harden, attorney from Eastman & Smith, is a scout master for Boy Scouts in Swanton. In April, he performed CPR and rescue breathes on a co-worker who collapsed and became unconscious. Right as Harden was going to use the automated external defibrillator (AED), 911 arrived and took over.

"Training is so important because I don't know how many people would want a loved one or a co-worker or relative to die while they're there. Anything can happen at home, car or when you're having fun. She had really good health, but who knew she would be hit by a brain aneurysm, and two of them happen at once," Harden said. The woman is currently improving at rehab.

Harden said he trains in CPR/AED and first aid at the Red Cross because he needs to carry a certification for all activities with the Boy Scouts.

"You have to be able to deal with anything from burns, mountain sickness or compound fractures," he said.

"I am honored to be receiving [the award] but the point to the award isn't so much to honor somebody but to draw attention for the need to train, getting the word out and help people pay attention to the need to go through CPR and AED training and save a life. That's what really matters," Harden said.

Gary Zales, who has been volunteering at Red Cross Disaster Services for 12 years, also received a certificate.

He responded to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.

"I stopped to get gas and I was getting ready to get the pump and I heard a screeching tire and I heard a really loud boom. What happened was a guy was walking; he was on two cell phones. He walked right out on traffic crushed a windshield and landed on a sidewalk," Zales said.

Zales said the man was in and out of consciousness and he might have had a head injury. He calmed him down and treated him for shock until the ambulance came.

Deb Zales, Gary's wife and also a Red Cross volunteer, said Gary helped save the man.

"Gary is very bashful about it; he's very modest. He's an Eagle Scout; he's really cool and calm. I'm proud of him," she said.

Scott Cowdrey and Sarah Monroe from BAX Global both received certificates for helping a co-worker who lost consciousness and hit her head.

They both have been re-training and said the lady was saved because of their training in CPR/AED.

Cowdrey and Monroe stayed cool and did not panic when the lady lost consciousness.

"It was just cool and comfortable as can be it was no big deal. We just took care of her perfectly," Cowdrey said.

"It was kind of like taking care of our own kids," Monroe said.

They both recommend everyone to be trained and be prepared for such instances.

For more information, visit www.redcrosstoledo.org or call (419) 329-2900.

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