Rowan Rescue EMT receives national award for saving co-workers life

When Linda Kennedy is not working at Delhaize America, she’s an EMT with the Rowan County Rescue Squad and a volunteer firefighter with Woodleaf Fire Department. She never imagined the skills she performs regularly as an EMT would be used while at the Food Lion corporate offices.

On July 23, the Davie County native received a phone call while at her desk from someone who believed a co-worker was having a seizure. She and two others performed CPR on the co-worker until EMS arrived.

Kennedy has been with Food Lion for nine years and in that time has never used her life-saving skills in this way. She’s a store maintenance coordinator. Kennedy has been an Emergency Medical Technician since 2008 and a firefighter since 2005.

A week ago, Kennedy and two Balfour Beatty Construction employees were given a national award from the American Red Cross for their life-saving efforts.

The co-worker collapsed near the entrance of the construction site on the Food Lion campus. The Post made attempts to reach the co-worker, but was unsuccessful.

When she turned the co-worker face up, the woman was blue, Kennedy said.

Construction employee Stanley Stowe barricaded the area and directed bystanders away from the area, while Kennedy and Balfour Beatty employee Bobby Hunter checked for a pulse.

Kennedy asked someone to get the company’s medical bag that included some first aid/emergency equipment. She asked Hunter if he knew CPR, which he did.

While Hunter began initial chest compressions, Kennedy got her EMT communications radio and requested help.

The two continued chest compressions and Kennedy gave the co-worker oxygen and had to place a tube into the woman’s mouth to open her airway. Kennedy was then able to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) until EMS arrived. Kennedy is part of Food Lion’s company emergency team.

The co-worker spent two weeks at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, Kennedy said.

Kennedy knew she’d been nominated for the award, but didn’t think she’d receive it.

She told the person who nominated her she was just doing what she’d been trained to do.

“I figured someone in Charlotte would get it,” she said.

Kennedy received her award surrounded by family, co-workers, Food Lion executives, Rowan Rescue Squad Chief Eddie Cress, her squad partner and Emergency Management Services Director Frank Thomason.

Kennedy felt honored that Thomason and her rescue squad family took the time to attend.

“The ceremony was exciting,” she said.

She and her husband have four children, all of whom she said are proud of her.

Kennedy will place the framed award she received next to EMT of the Year award she received from the county in 2006.

She encourages everyone learn how to perform and become certified in CPR. The American Red Cross offers CPR classes.

The award is the highest given by the American Red Cross and is given to individuals or teams who save or use skills learned in American Red Cross health and safety courses. The award bears the signature of President Barack Obama and the Red Cross chairman.

For more information about CPR or other emergency or preparedness classes contact the Elizabeth Hanford Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross at 704-633-3854.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: Facebook:

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