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.
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.