ALBANY, N.Y. (12/9/15)--A technical sergeant has been awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and the New York State Medal for Meritorious Service for performing life-saving CPR on a credit union executive during the New York Credit Union Association’ (NYCUA) Oct. 27 CEO Roundtable.
Tech. Sgt. Oehlbeck of the 107th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls was awarded the commendation medal during a ceremony Saturday (The Point Dec. 8). Oehlbeck received the recognitions for performing life-saving CPR on Jack Ewald, manager/CEO of UHS Employees FCU, Oct. 27 in East Syracuse, N.Y.
Ewald became unresponsive and collapsed during the second day of the NYCUA’s Syracuse CEO Roundtable event. Oehlbeck was staying at the hotel the event was hosted at while attending training at the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.
"I was walking through the lobby on my way to the elevator when a gentleman approached me and asked me if I was a medic. I thought he was referring to my military profession, so I said, 'no,'" said Oehlbeck. But after being informed of the medical emergency, Oehlbeck offered assistance.
"I'm thankful not only that Jason was in the right place at the right time, but also that he had the training to do what he did, and the character to stick with me as long as it took," said Ewald, who has since recovered from emergency heart surgery and returned to UHS Employees FCU. He was also on-hand to surprise Oehlbeck during the award ceremony.
Oehlbeck said the commendation was “totally unexpected.”
Following the official presentation, NYCUA Vice Chair Marie Betti, CEO/treasurer of Western New York FCU, presented Oehlbeck with a plaque commemorating his actions. Betti also announced that the association was making a $1,000 donation on Oehlbeck's behalf to the Friends of Family Support Association, which provides support to families from the airbase.