Pennsauken, NJ, Feb. 24, 2009 – James E. Pierce, a longtime resident of Gloucester City and a Red Cross Health and Safety Instructor, will be presented with the American Red Cross Presidential Citation for Saving a Life at 8:00 PM, Thursday, February 26, 2009 at the Gloucester City Council Meeting. Mayor William James and Council Members will be a part of the presentation as Dr. Thomas Tudor, Chapter Chair of the Camden County American Red Cross, and Vice-Chair Tracy Siebold, Esq., convey this prestigious award to Mr. Pierce.
This award is the highest honor that a volunteer can receive from the National organization. The citation was signed by former President George W. Bush, as one of his last acts in office. These ceremonies will also include Mayor James presenting a Proclamation to Red Cross officials recognizing March as Red Cross Month.
Jim Pierce has been a Red Cross Instructor with the local chapter for the past 10 years and has been Red Cross certified since he took Senior Lifesaving in 1961 as a teenager. He used his skills and knowledge to save the life of a co-worker who had suffered an apparent heart attack.
Jim was at work at Alliance Vinyl Windows when Robert Reyes, collapsed on the shop floor. 911 was called, but another employee saw that Robert was turning red and not breathing. She screamed for Jim Pierce. Once Jim arrived on the scene, he took charge, began CPR and send for the company’s oxygen tank. As soon as CPR and oxygen were administered, Robert’s color began improving. Robert was subsequently transported to Cooper Hospital. Only 15 minutes had elapsed, but to Robert Reyes it was a lifetime. Robert has recovered and attended rehab for his speech and walking, but is alive today because of Jim Pierce’s heroic actions.
Jim continues to teach lifesaving CPR and First Aid to area residents through the Camden County American Red Cross. His actions lend dramatic evidence to the need for people to learn to save lives.
Jim is a graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School Class of 1963.