Red Cross to honor local girl among Valley heroes
Ruby Linares was looking at a career in nursing, but she probably never thought her task of helping others would come so soon.
On May 6, 2012, the Porterville High School senior was having lunch with her parents when she sprung into action assisting a man who was choking on his food.
For her heroic actions, Ruby Linares is one of 12 Real Heroes who will be honored by the American Red Cross Central Valley chapter at a special dinner March 22.
Linares is one of six residents of the South Valley that will be honored, along with others from throughout the Valley. Also being honored are Petty Officer Alejos Pesina who on June 30, 2012, was a first responder to a single-vehicle traffic accident where a father of two children was saved by his quick actions, and four Farmersville youths who rescued a 3-year-old toddler they saw floating facedown in an irrigation canal. Those four boys are Robert Vasquez, Victor Vasquez Jr., Gilbert Hogan and George Castillo.
“Heroes have a thousand faces,” said Jane Fortune, Chief Development Officer for the Red Cross. “Somehow they find the strength and courage to overcome enormous obstacles to help another. Every year this group of remarkable people exemplifies the mission of the American Red Cross by being there when needed.
The dinner will be held 5:30-10:30 p.m. March 22 at Memley Aviation Hangar at Fresno’s Chandler Airport, 524 W. Kearney Blvd.
She said a committee selects honorees. “We had over 40 nominations this year,” she said.
Linares had received her Certified Nursing Assistant certification as a junior and had just completed her Emergency Medical Technician class as a senior.
On that fateful May day, she noticed something wrong with older gentleman at another table. She determined something looked very wrong, jumped up, ran over and asked the gentleman if he needed help and saw he was choking.
His family was panicked, so she got them to calm down a little and had them call 911. She then called her father over and instructed him step by step through the Heimlich maneuver and they were able to dislodge the food. They then realized his struggle was because he was having a stroke so she quickly placed him into the recovery position and continued to provide support until the paramedics arrived.
“The real heroes is such an impractical event. These are such extraordinary people to help other people and they do it in such a flash. It is just incredible,” said Fortune.