Sunday, July 21, 2019
Happening Now

Local Firefighter Recognized by TN Homeland Security

A Putnam County firefighter was recognized by the Tennessee State Department of Safety and Homeland Security after saving a man in May.

Waldo Vasquez, a volunteer for the Putnam County and Algood Fire Departments, received the “First Responder Award” for his efforts.

“It’s awesome. I just feel like… I’m very grateful to show the citizens of Cookeville and the whole of Putnam County that we are dedicated to our training,” Vasquez said, “On fire calls and even off-duty, we are willing to do anything we need to do for the citizens to help each other.”

In late May, Vasquez administered CPR on a Texas man inside the Cookeville Walmart after receiving a notification via the PulsePoint app.

“I rushed into Walmart and I heard a commotion going on in the pharmacy area,” Vasquez said. “As I went over there, I was checking up on him, and I was asking if he was alright. He was trying to squeeze my hand and I was asking him a lot of questions… And then that’s when I noticed his pulse fade away and he let go of my hand. That’s when I began CPR until EMS and Cookeville Fire arrived on scene.”

Vasquez thanks the use of the PulsePoint app for notifying him of the situation and allowing him to get to the man just in time.

“It makes a whole lot of a difference,” Vasquez said. “Even if a citizen who just happens to have a CPR license, it would help because even if they see that, I think honestly it will be a lot better outcome with them helping than not knowing what was going on.”

Vasquez was also recognized by Cookeville City Council for his efforts during a June council meeting.