On Saturday, August 12th around 10:30am the Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Anchorage was holding Friars’ Fest, their annual end of summer celebration for parishioners and the community at large. Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd. was involved by providing event equipment rentals such as tents, stages, and other needed items. Michael Horvatin, Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Safety Supervisor walked a sandwich board over to Holy Family Cathedral as it was needed for signage for the event.
He was in the right place at the right time.
“Anchorage Downtown Partnership staff gets called upon a lot to bring extra items needed for events.” Said Jeff Robinson, Anchorage Downtown Partnership Operations Director. “Michael was just helping out the maintenance team and assisting where needed.”
Upon entering the church, Michael heard yelling.
“I ran over to the commotion and noticed someone was patting an older woman on the back, trying to assist with what I perceived to be her choking and unable to breathe. She was around 70 years old.” Said Horvatin. “There seemed to be a couple people trying to help, but nothing was working. I also noticed someone calling 911 for help.”
“I immediately reached around her, made sure I had a tight grip below her ribcage and Torso, and gave a couple of big thrusts until I heard coughing and breathing.”
Fran Evanson, an attendee of the celebration and bystander of the incident said “One gentlemen tried the Heimlich but yelled for help as he wasn’t successful. Others (at the celebration) came but were older and not strong enough to help.”
Parishioners mentioned he was the 4th person who had come to help and they were happy that his efforts and immediate response in performing the Heimlich was affective in dislodging the object.
“I didn’t even think, I just did.” Said Horvatin.
The Ambulance and Anchorage Fire Department arrived about 1 minute later and was able to check her out. Parishioners were thankful for their quick response to the call.
Michael has worked with Anchorage Downtown Partnership since October, 2016 as a Safety Ambassador and is currently Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s Safety Supervisor.
“Our Ambassadors are trained to be Emergency Trauma Technicians (ETT) and are certified in CPR, Basic first Aid, verbal Judo, and Metal health awareness. Our goal in 2018 will be a 2-year training program for a Formal EMT program for all Safety Ambassador Staff for Downtown.” Said Jamie Boring, executive Director of Anchorage Downtown Partnership.
“He should be commended for duty above and beyond.” Said Evanson.
Thank You to Michael Horvatin and our dedicated staff who keep downtown Anchorage Clean, Safe and Vital every day.
For more information about Anchorage Downtown Partnership and the Downtown Improvement District, please visit www.anchoragedowntown.org, or https://www.facebook.com/AnchorageDowntownPartnership You can also call (907) 279-5650.
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