Four Seasons Employees Honored for Helping Save Guest’s Life         

Timing. Team work. Training. It all worked on May 15, when a Four Seasons Hotel guest from New Jersey went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. Four trained hotel employees immediately reacted and helped to save his life as D.C. Fire paramedics made their way to 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

On June 4, a grateful family and recovered guest, Gary Pomerantz, met virtually with Four Seasons employees, managers and some dozen D.C. firefighter and emergency medical personnel assembled in the hotel ballroom to convey their “inexpressible” gratitude. In recognition, the four employees as well as first responders were given challenge coins by the D.C. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

It happened around 8:30 p.m. on May 15. Hotel security officer Harlan Petrowski just happened to be walking down that hallway on his routine patrol when suddenly — from one of the guest rooms — he heard a woman’s frantic screams: “Help! Help! My husband’s having a heart attack!”

Although Petrowski said he’d never heard such a scream before he knew exactly what to do. Before he even entered the room he fast-dialed the hotel’s front desk and ordered one of the trained managers to bring up an AED – an automated external defibrillator that assists cardiopulmonary compression. When Petrowski entered the room, he found hotel guest Pomerantz lying on the floor, purple, with no pulse, in cardiac arrest.

Within minutes, Petrowski said he attached the AED to Pomerantz, then he and Front Office Manager Colin Moneymaker, Director of Security Sean Dunlevy and Hotel Manager Jason De Vries worked together, taking turns to perform CPR compressions while using the AED to shock Pomerantz’s chest several times until three paramedics and five EMTs — mostly from D.C.’s fire station on Dent Place in Georgetown — arrived.

“We found him still, with no pulse,” paramedic Emma S. Campbell told The Georgetowner.  “We immediately administered advanced life support and then medication used in these situations and I [saw] him take a breath. We checked his vital signs. Then we transported him to the hospital.”

“It starts with one person knowing what to do,” said D.C. Fire Public Information Officer Vito Maggiolo, “then once 911 is called, an entire process is started that involves dozens of people. But no question, the collective efforts of the hotel employees and the EMS resulted in the resuscitation of Pomerantz.”

The D.C. Fire and EMS Department awarded all those who helped Pomerantz with “Cardiac Arrest Challenge” coins given to individuals and first responders who have helped someone who has gone into cardiac arrest. The coins read “Cardiac Arrest Save.”

“All Four Seasons managers and security on duty 24/7 at the hotel are trained in CPR, use of the AED and other emergency procedures,” said Petrowski, “and we practice regularly.”

“The heroism of our team — how they knew what to do and did not hesitate to do what was needed in a very intense situation — is incredibly inspiring,” Senior General Manager Marc Bromley said. “We always prepare for the worst-case scenario, but it is very rare that we actually have to put our training to use. Jason, Sean, Colin and Harlan saved a life.”

“To be able to have our dad back is amazing! So, thank you, thank you very much,” Pomerantz’s daughter, Robin Greene, said appreciatively.

 “It’s not the first time I and my team have saved a life, but it’s the first time I’ve ever really seen the recovered victim and family,” said Campbell, munching a cookie with a depiction of the challenge coin on it. “It’s nice to be recognized like that.”


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