In this week's Around Town column, learn about two first responders recognized for saving a man who suffered cardiac arrest, a feisty cat rescued from a tree and Stanford's new worksite pilot.
RACING TO THE RESCUE ... What could have ended in tragedy was just a stumble in the race. On Oct. 10, Moonlight Run participant Carlo Rodis, 30, suffered cardiac arrest as he crossed the finish line in the 10K run. Rodis said that he felt no symptoms while running the race. In fact, he was taking his time, even if it didn't show in his brisk net time of 46 minutes and 16 seconds. Luckily, citizen rescuer Kate Peters and Palo Alto Park Ranger Robbie Parry were able to act fast. "Someone just ran up to us and said that someone had collapsed," Peters said. "He had agonal respirations, which is called the death rattle — it's basically the last attempt of your brain stem to keep breathing. And that's pretty indicative of cardiac arrest." Peters and Parry aided Rodis while paramedics were on the way. With the help of an automated external defibrillator, Rodis regained his heartbeat and was breathing on his own by the time paramedics arrived. Parry praised the efforts of citizens who stepped up to assist Rodis, as well as the efforts and responsiveness of the Palo Alto police and fire departments. "We had some good citizen support. It was a very successful situation which we're very grateful for," Parry said. Fire Capt. William Dale recognized Parry and Peters with the department's Citizen Hero award at Monday's City Council meeting. "If it were not for Ranger Parry and Kate's quick and selfless response, this story would certainly have had a different ending," Dale said.
CAT CALLS ... On Nov. 12, Palo Alto resident Stephanie Muscat was strolling back from errands when she heard a call from above. It came from a distressed cat, trapped on a branch 30 feet high, meowing for help at the corner of Kingsley Avenue and Waverley Street. Muscat, who initially didn't want to bother anyone, spent 45 minutes trying to coax the feline down before she called police and Animal Services but couldn't get anyone to help her. "I just couldn't leave," she said. "It wasn't until I took to social media that they responded really quickly." Animal Control Officer Ken Cunningham said most cats are able to get themselves down from trees (which is why they don't normally take cat calls), but this cat wasn't as lucky. A bare area on the tree made it so that the cat was marooned in his perch, unable to retreat back down to safety on his own. "This guy was a big, old, chubby black cat just sitting there, meowing to the world," Cunningham said. He was able to maneuver his truck up the tree, climb into it and reach the unhappy cat. After some soothing pats for reassurance, the cat appeared mollified, but suddenly became frightened as Cunningham attempted to bring the feline to lower ground. "He turned Tasmanian devil on us — I had this buzzsaw at the end of my arm," Cunningham said. The thrashing cat successfully landed on a lower branch, where it safely jumped back to the ground. From there, the cat darted off into a garden, safe and sound, according to Muscat. "He was such a wonderful human being! I was so impressed," Muscat said of Cunningham. "I felt so bad to disrupt this man's day, he's climbing this tree and he was so jovial about it. He was just the nicest, both to us and the cat. It was clear that he was a truly good soul." As for the cat: "I'm sure he headed home and the owners were none the wiser," Cunningham said.
A CHANGE OF SCENERY ... Stanford University employees are getting relief from the ever-congested Bay Area roadways through a pilot program that puts the time they would typically spend stuck in traffic back into the job. The university is testing out a satellite work site in downtown San Jose, where it has a short-term lease at WeWork, a coworking office space. The pilot that kicked off in October and runs through November 2018 was proposed by the Administrative Planning Executive Committee last spring. Provost Persis Drell and Chief Financial Officer Randy Livingston then agreed to cosponsor and fund the worksite. "We want to test the idea of enabling employees to work closer to their homes," Livingston said in a press release. Business Affairs and University Human Resources employees will be the first who'll work remotely, then get rotated out with other schools and units.