Meat Cutter Jonathan Powell, #1497, West Palm Beach, Florida, remembers coming into work Sunday, March 4 — but he doesn’t remember much after that.
He’d find out later that when an emergency struck, his fellow associates, Store Manager Erika Serkin and Grocery Clerk Chris Holbrook, saved his life.
“I got a call to go to the meat department, and I saw him on the ground,” Erika said. “His eyes were glazed over. I knew he wasn’t getting air.”
While a customer called 911, Erika began performing CPR. She was soon joined by Chris, who started doing chest compressions.
“All I could think was, this is someone’s father; this is someone’s husband,” Erika said. “I needed to do whatever I could to keep him alive until the paramedics got there. I would want the same thing for my family — for someone to step in and breathe for them.”
Thanks to her Publix training, Erika knew how to use the store’s AED machine, which can restart a heart in a cardiac emergency. Her use of the machine along with CPR and Chris’ chest compressions kept Jonathan alive until paramedics arrived.
“We go to classes for training and might think we’re never going to use this,” Erika said. “I can’t wait to sit in that class again and become recertified.”
After spending three weeks at two hospitals, Jonathan was back in his department May 15.
“I’m very grateful things worked out the way they did,” he said. “Everybody greeted me when I got back. This store is exceptional.”
Erika and Chris were presented with gold coins for going above and beyond to save the life of a fellow associate. “We’re a family here; we look after each other,” Erika said.
The gold coin is presented to associates who embrace the Publix culture and provide premier service the way Mr. George himself would have. Receiving a gold coin means you’ve made a real difference in the lives of others by going above and beyond. Associates can become eligible for the gold coin by receiving customer praise through the customer care department, which reviews each case based on established criteria and guidelines.
Take a moment to read about other Gold Coin winners in Publix News.