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On Oct. 28, 2018, 23-year-old Marissa D’Arpino, of Auburn, called on her American Red Cross training in first aid/CPR/AED to save the life of an 18-year-old co-worker when the co-worker suffered a cardiac arrest. For this heroic and lifesaving action, I had the honor of presenting D’Arpino with the Red Cross Certificate of Merit in a recent ceremony at the central New York chapter board of directors meeting in Syracuse.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross training services course. It is signed by the president of the United States, who is the honorary chair of the American Red Cross, and the national chair of the board of the American Red Cross.

We’re extremely proud to present this Certificate of Merit to Marissa. Her actions exemplify our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

D’Arpino was working at American Eagle at Destiny USA when an 18-year-old co-worker was found lying on the floor in the break room, unconscious and not breathing. Along with another employee, D’Arpino used her Red Cross training to perform CPR until emergency personnel arrived. The young woman was transported to the hospital, and has made a remarkable recovery.

Red Cross training gives people the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency and save a life. A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session) and classroom courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.

If you or someone you know has used skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross training services course to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit lifesavingawards.org to nominate, recognize or be inspired.

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Alan H. Turner II is regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Western and Central New York. For more information, call (315) 234-2200 or info.cny@redcross.org.

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