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Firefighters Present Lifesaving Award

— Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Ed Brinkley presented Life Saving certificates on June 18 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 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 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. Said Sharon Arndt, who at the time oversaw the operation of the Wellness Center, “They were really looking out for his welfare. This is an example of county employees taking care of county employees.”