La Salle University Student and Public Safety Officers Receive Commendations for Meritorious Service for Lifesaving Actions

On Tuesday, September 11 at 10:47 a.m. in the La Salle University Union Market, an Aramark employee went into cardiac arrest. As she collapsed, Joshua Biawogei, a junior biology student and coincidentally an EMT, caught her and guided her to the floor.

Public Safety Officer Joseph Kitchen also witnessed the fall. Attempts to wake her were unsuccessful, so they immediately began CPR; Biawogei providing chest compressions while Officer Kitchen did rescue breathing. Officer Kitchen then radioed dispatch; upon receiving the call, Officer Aliya Randolph notified Philadelphia Fire Department EMS and continued to provide the most updated information on the patient. Additional Public Safety Officers Lieutenant John Wesley and Sergeant Danielle Holmes arrived on the scene a short time later; Lt. Wesley assessed the patient while Sgt. Holmes retrieved the closest Automated External Defibrillator Unit. Lt. Wesley provided a shock to the patient and continued CPR for several minutes while Sgt. Holmes went to Olney Avenue and 20th Street to guide emergency responders to the Union. Lt. Wesley revived the patient prior to the arrival of EMS, who then transported her to the hospital.

As a result of the actions of these five individuals, the employee is awake, alert, and on the road to recovery.

On Wednesday, September 19, La Salle’s Assistant Vice President of Public Safety Amanda Guthorn, D.A., presented each with Commendations for Meritorious Service from the University, praising their quick response and actions. “Congratulations on a job well done, you truly embody the values of La Salle University: community, faith, service,” she said. “Thank you for representing La Salle University Public Safety so effectively. What we do matters.”

“One of our Lasallian trademarks is that we work together in association to serve those around us,” said President Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D., addressing the individuals who sprang into action that morning. “I am just so proud of the five of you—really proud of you—and what you were able to do collectively. Not one person could have done what the five of you did. To see that speaks to exactly who we are, and so thank you for this moment of great pride in service. Thank you very much.”