Personal tools
You are here: Home Heroes Luncheon: December 4, 2008, 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Document Actions

Heroes Luncheon: December 4, 2008, 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

We will be hosting the 8th annual Heroes Luncheon at Freeborn Hall on campus from 8 AM to 2 PM on Dec 4. They always need volunteers and it is a great way to see the difference Red Cross makes in the community...this event will show you what our club is all about!

We will be hosting the 8th annual Heroes Luncheon at Freeborn Hall on campus from 8 AM to 2 PM.  We always need volunteers and it is a great way to see the difference Red Cross makes in the community...this event will show you what our club is all about!

LOCATION: Freeborn Hall at UCD

DATE AND TIME: Dec 4, 8 AM - 2 PM

CONTACT: to volunteer, contact Ryann Heasley at


The Heroes Luncheon honors local heroes in Yolo County and will be held on Thursday, Dec 4, from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at Freeborn Hall on the UC Davis Campus with Master of ceremonies, CBS 13 News Anchor, Sam Shane.


November 21, 2008

Red Cross honors heroes on campus

By Julia Ann Easley

Under a halo of bright lights, students ran and jumped and sweated at play in their intramural games and club practices on the sports fields at UC Davis. Then one man’s heart stopped.

How two women responded helped save the 27-year-old’s life and underscores the importance of first-aid training.

Lara Musser, a student and employee of Campus Recreation, and Laura Rombach, a 2007 graduate of UC Davis, will be among those honored at the American Red Cross of Yolo County’s annual Heroes Luncheon at Freeborn Hall on Dec. 4. Also receiving team recognition will be five UC Davis firefighters — Capt. Paul Fullerton, Engineer Louis Cherko, Jonathon Poganski, Kristin Hunter and Scott Wilkes — and an American Medical Response crew of three who also helped save the man’s life.

This battle between life and death began during a club soccer practice in Toomey Stadium about 8:45 p.m. on April 21.

Musser, in a red jacket marking her as an intramural supervisor, was watching over a game of grass volleyball outside the stadium. Suddenly, some soccer players ran over to her. Someone was hurt on the soccer field and needed help.

Musser immediately called campus safety dispatch for medical help. She ran to the stadium. A young man was seizing on the ground. Then he stopped moving. She could not detect a pulse. She started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

“It was the last place I expected I’d be doing CPR,” said Musser. “We have a bunch of healthy college students playing intramural sports.”

Laura Rombach, who had been playing volleyball, went over to see what the problem was. “I saw Lara doing chest compressions,” she said, “so I just ran out there to assist.” Rombach took over mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Their timing was critical. CPR is performed to maintain sufficient circulation to preserve brain function until medical help arrives, and it can prevent death if performed in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest. The procedure alternates timed compressions to the chest to stimulate blood flow with mouth-to-mouth breathing to provide oxygen.

Training prepared them

Musser drew on the first-aid and CPR training she was required to have as an intramural supervisor and earlier safety training from working in Davis aquatics programs for eight summers.

Rombach, who had graduated with a degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, had recently completed an Emergency Medical Technician program at Woodland Community College on her way to becoming a physician’s assistant.

By 8:49 p.m., the UC Davis firefighters and the ambulance responded to the dispatch call and were on the scene in three minutes. Capt. Fullerton said the crews used a defibrillator to electronically shock the man’s heart several times, and eventually they took over performing CPR.

The ambulance transported the man to Sutter Davis Hospital. There, it took doctors another 20 minutes to win the battle that had started on the practice field.

Firefighters continued to root for their patient, and a few days later, after he was transferred to Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, they learned that he was up and walking around. “We were really happy about that,” Fullerton said. “When it’s a save, it brings you up.”

“I can’t imagine being there and not being able to assist,” said Rombach. The experience motivated her to take the test that now certifies her as an EMT, and this month, the 23-year-old started working with Norcal Ambulance Service in Castro Valley.

Musser is now customer service coordinator for intramural sports and oversees other intramural supervisors. The 23-year-old expects to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in genetics, and friends have suggested she write about the rescue experience in her applications to medical schools.

A representative for the Red Cross said the 27-year-old man whose life was saved prefers to remain anonymous. But a few weeks ago, Musser met him. “It was really nice to get to talk to him and know he’s doing OK.”

The heroes

About the Red Cross award, Musser said, “It feels good to be appreciated, but I just did what I’ve been trained to do.

“To me, the real heroes are the EMTs and firefighters and doctors who do this every day,” she said.

Fullerton, who has not yet met Musser and Rombach, disagreed. “It’s our job. The Samaritans — the two people at the beginning — are the heroes,” he said. “Let them know how appreciative the UC Davis Fire Department is.”

The Red Cross luncheon, which will include videotaped interviews with its heroes, will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 each and are available only in advance through the Yolo County chapter at (530) 662-4669 or online at


The campus is seeking volunteers to help run the clinic. At press time, about 60 individuals had volunteered, and the campus needs about 100 more students or employees to assist with registration, data entry, medical screening and more. Overlapping three-hour shifts will include training time. More information about the clinic is available at To volunteer, e-mail


This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.