BATESVILLE – On July 22, 2019, Lifeguard Josh Eckstein called on his American Red Cross training in First Aid/CPR/AED to save a victim struggling in the local YMCA swimming pool. Connie Fledderman, a staff member at the facility, also stepped in to assist with the response.

For their heroic actions, they each received a Red Cross Lifesaving Award—Eckstein, the Red Cross Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, and Fledderman, the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.

A ceremony was held Nov. 11 at the Southeastern Indiana YMCA in Batesville.

The Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, given to Eckstein, is the highest award issued by the Red Cross to individuals or a group of individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course.

The Certificate of Extraordinary Person Action, given to Fledderman, is granted to recognize those who step up in an emergency and help save or sustain a life.

“We’re proud to recognize Connie and Josh,” said Donna Colon, executive director of the American Red Cross of Southeast Indiana. “Their actions exemplify our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.”

Eckstein activated the YMCA facility’s emergency plan when a man went underwater after showing signs of distress. This alerted Connie Fledderman, a staff member in the Welcome Center, to call 911. She then ran to the pool, got the automated external defibrillator (AED), and assisted with the response. Josh and Connie pulled the victim from the water; Josh assessed his vitals, and determined he was not breathing and had no pulse. He began CPR while Connie connected the AED pads and power.

The AED determined a shock was advised and Connie pushed the button to deliver the shock.

Josh resumed CPR while Connie ran out to meet the EMTs and lead them to the scene. The EMTs took over care from Josh and Connie, and transported the victim to the local hospital, where he survived.

Red Cross training gives people the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency and save a life. A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session) and classroom courses are available at

If you or someone you know has used skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit to nominate, recognize, or be inspired.

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