One of the Good Samaritans honored is Mike Tyler. He is a bakery manager at Costco in Mountain View. On November 1, 2010, a customer suffered a massive heart attack in the store and Tyler quickly came to the man's side to help perform CPR. Mike said, "I just kept telling him, 'This is not your time man, it is time to come back right now. You start breathing, right now.'" The CPR continued until the paramedics came and took the man to a hospital where he survived triple bypass surgery.
Sergio Jimenez is another everyday hero. Last year he was driving on Capital Expressway in San Jose when he saw a fireball along the side of the road. Sergio said, "The whole side of the driver's side was on fire. I pulled off the side of the road, jumped out and started trying to kick in the window to get the kid out." Sergio and two other men, who also stopped to help, managed to get the driver out of the car and used their bare hands to put out the flames burning through his clothes.
The Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter uses the annual event to recognize the courageous and selfless acts that take place in the community. The ceremony also serves as an important reminder that being trained and prepared in the event of a disaster can have a life changing impact on others.
None of the people who were saved by these incredible acts were able to be at the celebration, but you can imagine the gratitude in their hearts and their families.
Jane Bryan-Jones got to sit next to one of the men who came to the aid of her husband. Hardy Jones suffered a heart attack while working out at the YMCA. Jane said, "They are the heroes. They are the people who step forward when things are going wrong and save lives."
The Red Cross gave each hero a plaque and certificate, but for Tyler the biggest reward can't be put on a shelf. It was an unexpected visit.
"One of the children, was very small, she and looked up at me and said, 'Thank you for saving my grandfather,'" said Tyler.
Anyone can look to their heart to have an impact on others, but the Red Cross reminds us skills and training are just as important as instincts.