Above the Call: Sergeant saves heart attack victim at grocery store

By Lt. Mike Tuntakit,  AA/Public Information Officer
Avenal State Prison

What started as a day of celebration for Avenal State Prison Correctional Sergeant Stan Tuck quickly turned into one requiring him to put his CPR training to use.

After a morning dove hunt with family and friends on Sept. 1, Sgt. Tuck was hosting a barbecue at his house.

Needing some supplies, Sgt. Tuck decided to go to the supermarket in Armona to pick up a few groceries.

Sgt. Stan Tuck

Sgt. Stan Tuck

After exiting the store and getting on the road, he saw an elderly woman on the sidewalk with three girls kneeling next to her.

He parked and ran to their location.

Sgt. Tuck asked the three girls if the elderly woman was OK, but they didn’t respond. Again, he asked if she was OK and one girl who was holding the woman’s head, said in broken English, “She was just laying here on the ground. I don’t know what’s wrong with her.”

Tuck asked if anyone had called 911 and the girl said she didn’t know. He checked the woman for signs of life, looking for a pulse, eye movement and breathing. At first he could see her eyes were moving under her eyelids but she seemed to be fading fast.

He dialed 911 to get emergency crews on the way.

While explaining the woman’s condition to the emergency operator, Sgt. Tuck noticed she was unresponsive and tapped her on the shoulder and conducted a sternum rub with no response. He told the emergency operator he was initiating CPR.

Sgt. Tuck began CPR and during the first set of chest compressions, the woman took a deep breath and began moaning. He stopped CPR and monitored her condition until emergency crews arrived and relieved him.

During a subsequent visit to the supermarket, the store manager told Sgt. Tuck the woman had a heart attack and was now on the road to recovery thanks to his actions.

Sgt. Tuck said he is grateful to his In-Service Training staff and CPR instructors who teach the class many think they’ll never need.

“I did not save that lady’s life; the Avenal State Prison CPR instructors saved her life,” he said.


17 Responses

  1. Mary Lou Friday, January 8, 2016 / 11:18 am

    A true hero! May your good deed be returned in abundance to you and your loved ones.

  2. Marvan Hogan Wednesday, December 9, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Wow. Made my day just to hear about it.

  3. R. Lozano Friday, October 30, 2015 / 3:59 pm

    Awesome work Sgt. Never ignore those oppurtunities that God gives us to trust in Him, not just the knowledge. God put you at the right place at the right time to help in such a great need.

  4. Jennifer Ogborn Thursday, October 29, 2015 / 9:25 am

    Great job!

  5. Bonnie ingram steele Tuesday, October 27, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    Stan, we have known each other our whole lives. I’m always proud of all of you like family. This act of kindness does not surprise me, you have always been “that kind of guy.” Anyone would be greatly blessed just to know you! God bless you for your courage and instinct to take action when others need it! Loved seeing your pic there.

  6. V. Carr Tuesday, October 27, 2015 / 8:46 am

    Great job, Sgt.Tuck. God put you in the right place at the right time!

  7. Sheila.DeLaCruz@cdcr.ca.gov Monday, October 26, 2015 / 1:40 pm

    I am so proud of you, Sgt. Tuck, and not surprised by your actions to help someone in need. I am in total agreement with Lt. Mendiboure’s sentiments as I am sure all of the Avenal staff is. Thank you!
    God bless you,
    Sheila DeLaCruz

  8. ERIK Monday, October 26, 2015 / 1:10 pm

    So many people nowadays are under the false presumption they will be sued or worse yet, think they will not be able to make a difference and that there may be someone else there with a higher level of training. So UNTRUE! Remember SMOKEY the BEAR’s motto? “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Same goes for CPR. Only you can save a life. Keep doing what you do. And what you know. Never look away.

  9. Paula Goodes Monday, October 26, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    Great job Tuck, just for stopping and getting out! Most people would have been too busy thinking about their BBQ to stop. We get portrayed as being cold hearted and uncaring. I thank you for doing something that allows people to see we really are concerned about serving and protecting.

    God speed,

  10. M. Robles Monday, October 26, 2015 / 11:01 am

    Wow. Great job, Sgt. Tuck!

  11. Mitchell Monday, October 26, 2015 / 10:58 am

    Great job, Tuck.

  12. Valerie Estrella Monday, October 26, 2015 / 10:23 am

    You are a hero. Congratulations and thank you for being willing to get involved to help the woman and her family.

  13. Diana Viale Monday, October 26, 2015 / 10:07 am

    That is so awesome. You should feel very proud of yourself. Excellent job!

  14. Maria Monday, October 26, 2015 / 9:39 am

    God bless you!

  15. Sandra Cardoza Monday, October 26, 2015 / 9:18 am

    God was with you on that September day. You are a good man, Stan Tuck.

  16. Mary M. Monday, October 26, 2015 / 9:13 am

    Sgt. Tuck, may God bless you for your prompt action in stopping and helping out!

  17. John Mendiboure Monday, October 26, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Great job, Stan!
    The IST staff may have trained you, but it was you who made the choice to stop and help that lady and thanks to your actions on that day, she is still alive and with her family.
    You are a credit to the Department and your community.

    Stay safe,

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