Assistant Redmond fire marshal Todd Short doesn't typically come into town on his day off. But on one Friday last May, the Kenmore resident had to attend a work meeting and ended up in line at the on Redmond Way.
At least two people are very grateful Short didn't stay home that day.
Don Trombly and his wife, Dixie Trombly, were talking in their car outside the store when Don Trombly suddenly collapsed over the steering wheel from a heart attack. Short ran outside, helped remove Trombly from his vehicle, and began performing chest compressions—reviving the Issaquah man before paramedics even arrived.
“It generally doesn’t happen that way," said Short, an 18-year veteran of the . "It was kind of a surprise to me to have him wake up like that.”
Short will receive the Medical Rescue Award from the American Red Cross of King and Kitsap counties at the organization's 16th annual Heroes Breakfast in downtown Seattle on Tuesday. After his heart attack, Trombly underwent triple-bypass surgery and has since fully recovered.
Like many people recognized for their heroic efforts, Short said he was "reluctant" when his coworkers nominated him for the award.
“From my perspective, I really didn’t do a lot. That would just be what any off-duty firefighter would do,” he said in a phone interview with Redmond Patch.
Even though Short has helped resuscitate patients many times as part of a team of first responders, this was the first time he alone was responsible for seeing the whole process through from start to finish, he said.
Short had the chance to meet with the Tromblys recently while they filmed a video about their experience for the Red Cross. Dixie Trombly told him she was praying for someone to save her husband after he collapsed.
“When I got there and took over, she just knew that everything was going to be OK,” Short said.
Redmond couple also honored by Red Cross
Short will not be the only person with a Redmond connection receiving an award at Tuesday's Red Cross event. John and Cary Atzbach of Redmond will receive the Water Rescue Award for their efforts in saving the life of 11-year-old Peter Dyer on the Washington Coast last summer.
According to a recount of the incident from a Red Cross news release, Peter was playing on the beach at Seabrook when a large wave swept him under a nearly 1,000-pound log. Caught face-down in the sand with the log on his back, Peter was unable to free himself.
John Atzbach rushed to the boy but was unable to lift the log until another large wave came in and partially buoyed the object. Using all his strength, Atzbach was finally able to lift the log off the boy, who was airlifted to Harborview with a lacerated liver, a tear in his intestine and significant bruising.
He has since fully recovered.
Click here to visit the Red Cross website and read more about the individuals being honored.