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Somerset teen honored for saving man two days after learning CPR

SOMERSET, Pa. – When Landon Strelko completed a CPR course at Somerset County Technology Center this spring, he realized the lesson could be a life-saver.

The Somerset Area High School senior said he never imagined how quickly it would happen.

Strelko, of Friedens, was recognized by Somerset County officials Tuesday for performing CPR on a customer at Pine Grill in Somerset just two days after receiving his certification.

“I was working on to-go orders … and one of the waitresses started yelling for help,” said Strelko, who works at the restaurant. “We got him on the floor, and I just started doing chest compressions.”

Strelko said he felt a pulse and continued to render aid until an ambulance crew arrived.

“It all happened quickly,” he said.

The teen described the moment in a matter-of-fact tone, saying he simply did what he was trained to do.

But he received plenty of praise Tuesday for his calm, decisive act.

“What he did, that’s not something you do every day,” said his mother, Renee Strelko.

And the fact he just learned the technique days earlier was no coincidence in her mind.

“I think God was all over that. Landon was there that day for a reason,” she said.

Landon’s father, Todd, said the family is “extremely proud of him.”

The Somerset County commissioners presented Strelko with a resolution Tuesday, calling him a hero.

“You made a huge impact that day,” President Commissioner Gerald Walker said. “And it will last for a long time to come.”

Pine Grill co-owner Mark Miller agreed.

Miller said he initially didn’t know which of his employees rushed to the man’s aid. At first, he expected it might be one of the longtime members of his staff.

“The way it turned out … it was the youngest person in the room,” Miller said. “It couldn’t have been a better story.”

He said it was eye-opening to walk into his restaurant to see the difference small-town heroes can make – and how important it is to be prepared.

The moment compelled Miller to explore ways to set up CPR training for himself and his staff – as well as other businesses in the community whose employees could one day face a similar situation.

“He saved a guy’s life,” said Miller, who also praised Somerset ambulance crews, “and when you see something like that, it makes you realize – ‘Hey, I need to be ready, too.'”

Somerset teen honored for saving man two days after learning CPR
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