Keystone employee wasrecognized for quick response

From left, Eddie Sanchez, Marlene Gingerich and Jeff Runels pose for a photo during a ceremony honoring Sanchez for his life-saving action. 

GOSHEN — Keystone RV’s Plant 31 Final Group Leader, Eddie Sanchez, has been recognized with the “Outstanding Service Award” for saving the life of a fellow employee.

Sanchez jumped into action about 7:20 a.m. May 7 when he heard screams and panicked shouts, the company said in a news release about the incident. Not far from Sanchez, fellow employee Marlene Gingerich was choking and struggling to breathe.

Having taken several sessions of Keystone’s First Responder Program, Sanchez knew exactly what to do, the release said, calmly performing the Heimlich maneuver several times until Gingerich’s airway was clear of the obstruction.

“Although I’ve gone through the training at least five different times, nothing can truly prepare you for something like that,” Sanchez said. “It’s one of those things you automatically react to. All I have to say is, it’s extremely important to take classes like that very seriously. You never know when you’ll need to use those skills.” 

Keystone’s First Responder Program is a annual class, free to employees, that is run by a certified member of the American Heart Association. After completing classes in first aid and CPR, employees are recognized by the AHA as a certified first responder.

Company President and CEO Jeff Runels, visited the plant to honor Sanchez, presenting him with Keystone’s “Outstanding Service Award” for his “Life-saving Selfless Act For a Fellow Employee.”

“We recognize many things here at Keystone, but when we come a across a situation like this, it is a very big deal,” Runels said. “It’s important that we take the the time to recognize the people that make a difference in this company.” 

Headquartered in Goshen, Keystone RV is the nation’s No. 1 manufacturer of towable recreational vehicles.

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