Town of Palm Beach News

Publix Employees Receive Awards

Last Christmas Eve, Andy DeLong and Tanya Nelson were both at work at Palm Beach’s local Publix. DeLong is the manager of the establishment and Nelson is the store’s customer service manager. Neither of their jobs typically include saving lives, but that’s what they were called upon to do on that day, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

A man collapsed onto the floor. His heart had stopped beating.

Someone called 911. DeLong and Nelson began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and had someone else apply and AED, or defibrillator, which shocked the man’s heart, restoring its’ normal rhythm. Other store employees cleared a path for the approaching Palm Beach Fire-Rescue vehicle and kept emergency responders informed of the man’s condition.

“By the time we arrived, this patient had a pulse and was breathing on his own,” said Fire-Rescue Chief Darrel Donatto.

Publix Employees Receive Awards

At Palm Beach’s Public Safety Committee meeting held Wednesday at Town Hall, Donatto presented DeLong and Nelson each with and Outstanding Citizen Award from the town for their excellent customer service last Christmas Eve.

“A lot of safety comes from people in this town who make a difference,” Donatto said. Nelson and DeLong “didn’t just go above and beyond [their duty]. They saved a man’s life.”

Public corporate leadership also received recognition and gratitude from Donatto. “They made the effort to have the AED in their store and trained ever single employee on how to use the AED,” Donatto commended.

Related >>> Town of Palm Beach Names Employee of the Year

Donatto hopes that other stores, following the example set by Publix, will take similar measures to ensure the safety of their customers.

The Fire-Rescue department co-sponsors the Heart Safe Palm Beach Program with the Palm Beach Civic Association. This program strives to educate residents and businesses about the importance of learning CPR and having an AED in their home or storefront. 

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Alanna Barrett

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