Fast Food Workers Rewarded for Fast Action That Saved Customer’s Life

By Tina Chen

Apr 17, 2014 4:33pm

When a couple of fast food restaurant workers got no response over the microphone at their drive-thru station they rushed outside to find a driver in cardiac arrest, pulled him out of his vehicle and gave him life saving CPR.

The customer returned to the Burger King in Flint, Mich., on Wednesday to thank his rescuers and applaud a surprise for them.

Assistant Manager Lidia Rodriguez, 26, was working the drive-thru when Howard Turner Jr., 46, pulled up to the speaker on March 29. Rodriguez heard nothing from the other end and knew something was wrong.

“I go toward my back room where I can see out to my speaker and I’m like, ‘If you’re okay, raise your hand’ and I didn’t get no response,” Rodriguez told ABC’s Michigan affiliate, WJRT.

Rodriguez and a coworker Kelseigh Valdez, a member of a volunteer paramedic program, rushed outside to Turner.

They  pulled Turner out of his car and Rodriguez called 911 while Valdez performed CPR.

The two saved Turner’s life.

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Two Burger King employees were honored for saving Howard Turner Jr.'s life in Flint, Mich.

“I feel like I’m going to be connected with them forever. They were just like my angels, right at the time,” Turner said.

Mobile Medical Response, a non-profit organization that provides emergency medical services to counties across Michigan, presented both women with lifesaving awards on Wednesday, but they also had a surprise for Valdez.

Valdez, 18, originally from Oregon, moved to Flint to participate in a volunteer paramedic program. MMR gave her a scholarship to become a professional paramedic. Valdez was shocked to see her dreams come to fruition.

“I knew it was going to happen at some point in my life, just not at Burger King,” she said.

The scholarship award came as a surprise to everybody. “I got all teary eyed when it happened,” said Donna Bennett,  the Burger King manager.

“Oh my God, I am so proud of both of them. I don’t know if I could have ever done anything like that. I would have probably just panicked,” Bennett told ABC News.

“I thought what they did was great,” Bennett added.

Turner does not recall the women pulling him out of his car, but he is forever grateful. “Without them, I definitely wouldn’t be here and I know that for a fact,” Turner said.

Bennett said incorporating CPR training for employees is something she and her owner will likely discuss for the future.

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