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Thursday, July 7, 2011

“Everything was happening so fast and so slow at the same time,” he said.

YPG employee's CPR saves coworker
July 06, 2011 11:44 PM

After waking up and going about his normal daily routine, Alex Molina said it felt like any other regular day— little did he know, that would be the day he would save another person's life.

About three weeks ago, Molina, who works as a field test engineer for Syracuse Resource Corporation at Yuma Proving Ground, was going to drop off his testing equipment at a facility located 50 miles downrange before he left to go home for the day.

When he arrived at the building around mid-afternoon, he saw that his coworker appeared to be asleep in his vehicle, and given their camaraderie, Molina had the idea to scare his fellow employee as a joke.

Unfortunately, he soon discovered that his friend was not sleeping but had passed out due to heat stroke on a day where the outdoor temperatures reached well above 100 degrees.

Molina immediately ran into a nearby building to call “5111,” which is the number used to contact emergency personnel at YPG.

During the next 10 minutes that passed until the emergency crews arrived, Molina said that his prior medical training kicked in and he preformed CPR on his friend. Because his friend was slumped over in the front seat of his vehicle, he tilted the seat back as far as it would go and got in the backseat to preform CPR. Additionally, he said that his coworker's mouth was wired shut, forcing him to breathe through the patient's nose.

“He was so pale,” he said, noting that it was a scary sight to see his friend unconscious, not breathing and with no pulse to be found.

His coworker was later transferred to Yuma Regional Medical Center for further treatment where he has since recovered and returned to work.

“Everything was happening so fast and so slow at the same time,” he said.

Molina, who was born and raised in Yuma and graduated from San Pasqual Valley High School in 1994, said that he never expected to have to use any of his CPR training that he received while in the Marine Corps.

When asked about the value of the training, he said that he encourages everyone to get certified, regardless of whether or not it is required for the job that they are in.

Both his coworker and his coworker's girlfriend have both thanked him countless times for his efforts, but Molina added humbly, “I was just really fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. I think anyone in my situation would have reacted the same way.”

Since the incident, Molina remarked that he has become more observant and is encouraging the continuous hydration of his fellow coworkers.

“For his heroic actions, Molina was recognized with a certificate of recognition by the U.S. Army Product Manager for Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare,” stated a news release. “In addition, Molina was given the Yuma Proving Ground Safety Award by Col. Reed Young, YPG commander.”

Jerry Ball, assistant fire chief of operations at YPG Fire Department said that although all of their personnel are not required to by CPR certified, they hope to provide the classes for all employees. He added that they are well on their way to reaching their goal of 100 percent certification.

“Nobody is expecting a medical emergency to happen but it can happen to anyone at any time and having that training is giving that person a better chance of surviving,” Ball said.

He commented that CPR classes are civilian friendly for those who may not have had prior experience in the medical field.