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Fitness Center Members Receive Lifesaving Award

At a ceremony on June 18, Gary Oswald (center), wife Rosemary (to his left) and daughter Amber are surrounded by six of the seven civilians and some of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighters that worked together to save his life on Feb. 24. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department presented Life Saving certificates to Mary Butler, Damian Hawkins, Min Huynh, Lori Jones, Nick Taktak, Sandy Weaver and Chuck Wright for their work as a "well-rehearsed team" to perform multiple and continuing lifesaving actions on Oswald.

At a ceremony on June 18, Gary Oswald (center), wife Rosemary (to his left) and daughter Amber are surrounded by six of the seven civilians and some of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighters that worked together to save his life on Feb. 24. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department presented Life Saving certificates to Mary Butler, Damian Hawkins, Min Huynh, Lori Jones, Nick Taktak, Sandy Weaver and Chuck Wright for their work as a "well-rehearsed team" to perform multiple and continuing lifesaving actions on Oswald. Photo by Deb Cobb.

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Sandy Weaver, of Centreville, gives Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Ed Brinkley a hug at a ceremony on June 18 as she is presented a Life Saving certificate for her part in the seven-person effort to save a colleague’s life on Feb. 24. Weaver administered CPR to a colleague that collapsed at the Fairfax County Fitness and Wellness Center in the Fairfax County Government Center on February 24. "This changed my life completely. I live my life in a way that I appreciate everything now that I know life is so precious," said Weaver of the impact the event had on her life.

On June 18, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Ed Brinkley presented Life Saving certificates to Mary Butler, Damian Hawkins, Nick Taktak, Sandy Weaver, Minh Huynh and Chuck Wright for their efforts to help save the life of fellow Fairfax County employee Gary Oswald on Feb. 24. A seventh person, Lori Jones, will also receive a certificate for her contribution to the life-saving effort that day.

"I feel very privileged to be here, and honored that people that I don’t know would take an interest in me and help. It’s very nice to meet them," said Gary Oswald at the ceremony. Oswald’s heart stopped on that fateful February morning and it was the coordinated efforts of the seven Wellness Center employees and patrons to administer CPR and use the facility’s Automatic External Defibrillator to keep his blood circulating. In addition to calling 911 and administering critical first aid, the group also found Oswald’s locker, cut the bolt to retrieve his wallet, contacted his family to tell them of the emergency and went to meet EMS at the front of the Fairfax County Government Center.

"They were really looking out for his welfare. This is an example of county employees taking care of county employees," Sharon Arndt said, who at the time oversaw the operation of the Wellness Center.