PRINCETON — Penske Logistics associates in the Princeton Separations Center worked together Tuesday morning when a DXE driver collapsed of a heart attack at their location.
Six Penske employees quickly worked together to assist the man, who wished to remain anonymous, until first responders arrived.
Honored for their quick response Friday morning in an assembly at the local center were:
•Michael Lewis of Fort Branch, a warehouse associate with the company for seven years
•Jodi Nowark of Winslow, an operations supervisor who has worked for the company for four years
•Troy Wolfe of Mount Carmel, a warehouse associate with the company for five years
•Coila Winters, Evansville, a document control associate, with for the company for one year
•Robynn Williams of Fort Branch, a warehouse lead with the company for seven years
•Matt Jenkins, Princeton, a warehouse lead who has worked for the company for six years
"We were talking about his weekend with his daughter and granddaughter, and I was continuing to work," Winters said. "I heard him and Mike (Lewis) saying something and I looked over and it was almost as if he was convulsing."
"I was working with him when it happened… we were talking and joking," Lewis said. "At first it was like a scene from a movie that you see all the time… and you don't think it's real, but you just react."
"I came up and did knuckles to his chest to see if I could get some sort of response and checked for a pulse, and at that point, we didn't get a pulse," Nowark said.
"I was sitting at my desk and saw what was going on, and I took off in a full sprint," Jenkins said. "By that time, Troy Wolfe was behind me and I grabbed one end and he grabbed the other, and we laid him on the ground."
"He was completely lifeless when we did get him out of the chair and laid onto the floor," Wolfe said.
"We got him back the first time and he did manage to take a breath, and then we lost him again," Nowark said. "When we got him back a second time, the EMTs came and took over."
Employees performed CPR for nearly ten minutes. With the new sense of awareness and due to the profound effect it had on the employees, they all agreed that they would do it again if they were present when another situation ever occurred.
"I think that regardless of who it was, regardless of what the environment would have been or the situation would have been, I think everyone would have done it again," Williams said.
Another employee was focused on the importance of the awareness and the benefits, and needs, of CPR training.
"I want us to take more away from this than just knowing we saved a life… we want everyone to be educated," Nowark said. "We want everyone to understand to get trained, so in case there is someone along the way who doesn't know what to do."
Penske Logistics operations manager Jason Rogers said the company has an internal CPR program, and another class is being set up for the near future. He reported that a good amount of employees want to participate in the class.
On behalf of the DXE employee who is still recovering from the incident, DXE recruiter Amber Young shared a statement the employee wanted to share during the ceremony:
"And now… here are the stars of our show, mine anyway, Robynn and Jodi. When I stop to remember and look back on that day, I will remember how two people stepped out of their comfort zone, and dived headfirst through the fear of 'oh my God, this is really happening.' Thank you… you've done your good deed for a lifetime… my lifetime."
Jeremiah Stansfield, DXE's human resources manager, also attended the ceremony on the driver's behalf and gave cards to each of the six heroes from the man they helped save.
The employees were awarded with a framed letter and a CPR trophy following a meeting late Friday morning. "Our medal is that he's alive," said Lewis, getting agreement from the other five lifesavers.