ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks announced today that three of its Roger Carter Community Center (RCCC) employees have been honored by the American Red Cross (ARC) with its National Lifesaving Awards for their heroic, quick actions last year that saved the life of a Howard County resident. 

These awards are a further testament to the training and character of these three courageous individuals. Thanks to their quick actions and ability to stay calm under pressure, they put their skills and knowledge into action to save the life of one of our residents that September day. We are forever grateful for their actions and commitment to ensuring the safety of all who walk through our facility doors.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

On the morning of September 28, 2020, a swimmer was found in distress by another swimmer in RCCC’s pool. Once notified, pool manager Abdullah Tyler activated RCCC’s Emergency Action Plan with the assistance of lifeguard David Gostomski. Together, they performed CPR compressions, rescue breaths and used the on-site AED defibrillator twice. During this time, facility leader Marcellus Barley called 911 and led emergency personnel through RCCC to the pool deck. By the time Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) personnel arrived on scene, the distressed swimmer was revived, and subsequently transported to Howard County General Hospital, where he made a full recovery.

Abdullah and David were each presented with ARC’s “Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders,” which recognizes Red Cross trained professional responders acting while on duty. Marcellus was recognized by ARC with its “Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action,” presented to those not Red Cross trained.

“The quick and decisive heroic actions of our three community center employees prevented what could have been a tragic loss of life,” said Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme. “We give thanks to American Red Cross for recognizing Abdullah, David and Marcellus’ heroism and hope it serves to inspire others to become CPR and First Aid certified.”

This past October, the three employees were also recognized by Ball, who was joined by Delerme and HCDFRS’ Fire Chief Bill Anuszewski and Medical Director Dr. Matthew Levy, during a public ceremony.

All RCCC staff are required to be CPR and First Aid certified. Aquatics staff receive an additional 20+ hours of in-service training each year including skill refinement, pool safety and operations, team building and physical fitness training. 

Established in 1911, ARC’s National Lifesaving Awards help to inspire others to learn lifesaving skills through real-life success stories. 

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