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Tow411 Recalls: Tow truck driver a life-saver


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Topic Originally Created in April of 2008:


Charlie Giorgianni expected to be jump-starting a car, not a customer, while on a tow truck call Sunday afternoon.

The 89-year-old owner of Call Service towing company was forced to use CPR skills he learned in the military 60 years ago to save a client's life.

"The man was dead and I got him breathing again. I helped to bring him back (to life)," said Giorgianni, still visibly shaken from the incident. "I couldn't remember all of what I was supposed to do, but some of my (CPR) training just came back to me."

Giorgianni said he was called to a home on Tollendal Mill Road just after 1 p.m. where a man's car wouldn't start, and minutes later, the man was being rushed by ambulance to Royal Victoria Hospital, where he remained yesterday.

The victim's family could not be reached for comment.

"He looked like such a healthy man, middle-aged and looked to be in good physical health and was excited to see me arrive," Giorgianni said. "I told him I knew how to fix it, and then he suddenly looked at me, his eyes went wide open and his hand shot up toward his chest and throat.

"He called out to his wife and then started collapsing right in front of me," he added. "I grabbed him and eased him down onto the ground, but I just can't understand why he collapsed."

A decorated ex-commando in the Second World War and recipient of the British Empire medal (BEM), Giorgianni received first aid training during his war days, but never thought he'd have to use it in his daily job. Yesterday, those skills came in handy.

"I didn't feel a pulse and thought, 'Oh God, this man's already gone.' But I did the chest compressions anyway," Giorgianni said. "His wife called 911, and when she was talking, I could feel a faint pulse and knew he was alive."

At that moment, Giorgianni said two joggers came along and offered to help, as well.

"They were both nurses, and I thought, 'How lucky is it that they've come along now?'" Giorgianni said. "I let them take over, and then, when I heard the ambulance siren, I was so thankful.

"The real heroes were the ladies and the paramedics for getting there so fast and getting him safely to the hospital," he added. "They just did a fantastic job, and I want them and everyone to know that."

Craig Williams, training quality supervisor with County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, praised Giorgianni for his help in reviving the patient.

"It's great when we have the assistance of the public like him," Williams said. "It really helps having someone who knows CPR helping until we can get an ambulance on scene."

Giorgianni doesn't consider himself a hero, but did pride himself in helping a fellow resident.

However, the experience did take its toll on him.

"I was a bit proud of myself for what I did, but when I got in the truck, I started to shake," Giorgianni said. "I even started to cry, and, I guess, it was shock I felt."

Giorgianni said he intends to keep in contact with the man and his family after the man is released from RVH. He also intends to encourage others to get first aid training.

"This got me thinking that people should all have some form of CPR training," he said.


Stevo said:

89 years old and still going strong, and saving lives, thats so cool.
My wife is a Red Cross CPR instructor and they are going thru some changes. You dont need to force air. You just need to do chest compression's.


Arlen00 said:

Awesome story.... thanks for sharing... Chalk one up for the good side of our business...



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