Gibbs Die Casting employees save team member’s life

Gibbs Die Casting employees save team member’s life
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:11 PM CDT
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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Dec. 21 started as a normal day at Gibbs Die Casting in Henderson.

Second-shift workers got to work and hours later, it was everything but normal. A team member, Kurt Ray, collapsed.

Ray would fall seven feet off the platform he was on, where officials say he fractured his neck and went into cardiac arrest,

“I don’t know if he was taking his last breath of air or whatever, I saw him open his mouth and I immediately started chest compressions,” said Andre Hart.

Several team members on the second shift rushed to Ray’s side to assess what had happened.

“We’ve been trained to do this, and it just kicked in, and we just did our job,” said Roy Pointer.

Hart, Pointer and Jeremy Robinson were by Ray’s side within seconds, providing life-saving care at a crucial time.

“It’s really nice when you see all the plan take place, and they’re executing it perfectly to save somebody,” said Keith Sutton, Director for Environmental Health and Safety at Gibbs Die Casting.

“They went at it for eight minutes before the professionals arrived,” said CEO and President of Gibbs D.C. Greg Risch. “They didn’t hesitate, and that’s what impressed me the most.”

Hart, Pointer and Robinson would trade off reps of CPR until paramedics arrived.

Studies estimate that Ray had a nearly 50% chance of surviving, given CPR was started within four minutes of his collapse. Had they waited, or hesitated, Ray’s survival rate would be a fifth of that.

“You see something like that, and it’s automatic, so it makes us very proud,” Hart said. “I mean we would do this for anyone out there. We wanted to make sure our team member was safe, as we do always.”

Risch says Gibbs’ team members are more than just co-workers.

“It’s not so much a co-worker relationship as it is a team member/family,” Risch said. “It’s really close.”

Ray’s work family likely saved his life. Both the American Red Cross and American Heart Association have recognized 11 of the workers from that shift for their role in getting Ray help.

Hart, Pointer and Robinson want people to be prepared for any similar situation in their own lives.

“If anyone gets a chance, whenever they work, to do this type of training, they should do it,” Pointer said.

Gibbs Die Casting welcomed Ray back so he could see his team members accept the awards.

Risch says that he could see the sincerity the family had towards the people who stepped in so quickly to make a difference in Ray’s outcome.