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Galt Herald

Local McDonald’s Worker Saves Customer’s Life

Mar 28, 2024 10:42AM ● By Matthew Malone

McDonald’s employee Hillary Crownover, left, accepts a certificate from Cosumnes Community Services District General Manager Phil Lewis, honoring her use of CPR to save a man’s life. Photo by Matthew Malone

GALT, CA (MPG) - Hillary Crownover was working her shift Feb. 28 at the McDonald’s location on Pine Street when she saw that one of the customers was in distress. The man had collapsed and had trouble breathing; he was having a heart attack.
“When I saw him on the ground, I ran over, and I could hear the snore, you know, like when they’re not breathing, and they’re just trying to gasp for air,” Crownover recalled. “So I ran back. I told everybody to call 9-1-1. I came back over. I started CPR immediately.”
It was her quick decision to perform CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, that the Cosumnes Fire Department said helped save the man’s life.
The Cosumnes Fire Department recognized Crownover on March 22 in a gathering at McDonald’s and fire officials spoke about the importance of CPR training for members of the public.
Cosumnes Fire Chief Felipe Rodriguez said CPR is an essential link in the “chain of survival,” buying time during a medical emergency for first responders to arrive.
“That is so, so important, that when you notice someone who’s unresponsive, you call 9-1-1 and you start CPR, when appropriate, and that’s exactly what she did,” Rodriguez said.
Cosumnes Fire Medical Director Dr. Tressa Naik said CPR can help maintain a person’s chances of survival until they get medical aid.
“For every minute that CPR is not provided to an individual in cardiac arrest, that person’s survival decreases by 7 to 10%.Bystander CPR allows blood flow and oxygenation to an individual while professional help is on the way,” Naik said.
She encouraged all members of the public to learn hands-only CPR training, saying the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross offer resources. 
Additionally, 9-1-1 dispatchers can coach a caller in performing CPR. Naik then addressed Crownover.
“That day, you were his hero, and without you, he would not be here today, so take heart in that and thank you for your courage and bravery in performing what was needed at the time of need,” Naik said.
During the emergency, Crownover said, she performed chest compressions for about 15 minutes, until her arms got tired. 
Then another McDonald’s employee took over the CPR until fire department personnel arrived. The Cosumnes Fire Department privately recognized the other employee, who asked not to be identified.
Crownover received CPR training during her time in the military and when she had her children. She has done CPR only once before, on her father, who ultimately died.
“And so I swore I was never going to do it again,” Crownover said. “But it’s weird, when you see that happening at the moment, that just something took over.”
Crownover “couldn’t believe it” when she later learned the customer had survived.
“Immediately, I was just so happy that I did it. I did it,” Crownover said.