Local Waffle House employees receive lifesaving awards

Lynn Haven

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — A normal day at the Lynn Haven Waffle House turned into an extraordinary one when two employees performed lifesaving measures on a customer in July.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Lynn Haven Police Department recognized Ladora Santoro, Waffle House Manager, and Aaron Cook, Waffle House Grill Cook, August 17 for their first aid response.

Family and friends of the employees, as well as saved customer, Gary Grant, gathered to watch as Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford and Lynn Haven Police Chief Ricky Ramie presented the two with medals and certificates of recognition.

Grant said he does not remember much of what happened, but was told he fell to the floor while he was eating, hitting his head as his complexion turned blue.

Cook then jumped into action by grabbing a towel and pressing it to Grant’s head, where he had started to bleed, Grant explained.

Santoro followed Cook’s efforts by performing chest compressions until EMS arrived.

“I’m just so thankful for them,” Grant said. “I’m still able to hug my wife and kids and grandkids. It’s just a big deal to have a second chance to be here and figure out why God kept me here for another day.”

Cook and Santoro said they want to encourage the community to learn CPR and first aid training in order to step up in a time of need.

Santoro said she learned CPR more than 20 years ago, and was thankful her training came in handy.

“Don’t be afraid to step up an save somebody’s life,” Cook said. “You never know whose dad, mom, sister, brother or whoever’s family you’re saving. You don’t know what life you’re actually changing for that opportunity.”

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