Union Pacific Employees Call on CPR Training to Save Team Member

Large | California Employees Call on CPR Heroes

From left: Joe Burnham, director-Track Maintenance; Andrew Rohleder, backhoe operator; Zach Beck, manager-Track Maintenance; and Jose Zuazua, track supervisor.

Camaraderie among Union Pacific employees is seen daily in yards, shops and offices across our 23-state network. So is something greater – a sincere care for others, as railroaders embody the Courage to Care.

In early March, Engineering Backhoe Operator Andrew Rohleder and Track Supervisor Jose Zuazua were part of a welding fire watch team in Lincoln, California.

When they returned from a break, Rohleder noticed a team member slumped over in the driver’s seat of their work vehicle.

“That’s when I knew something was wrong,” he said. “I jumped down from the truck and told Jose to call 911. I checked his pulse. He didn’t have one.”

Rohleder immediately pulled his co-worker from the truck and began CPR while Zuazua spoke with first responders. The pair switched places and continued to perform CPR while on the phone with paramedics.

“I’d never done CPR on anyone before,” Zuazua said. “When it happened, everything I was taught came back into my mind right then and there. I knew exactly what to do.”

Each took turns continuing chest compressions and breaths until their co-worker resumed breathing on their own.

Rohleder and Zuazua then assisted the California Highway Patrol and emergency medical services upon arrival.

“He lost his pulse one more time as the Sheriff's department arrived,” Rohleder said. “They brought an AED with them, and we assisted in delivering the shock.”

Once the employee was breathing again, medical personnel transported him to the nearest hospital.

Both Rohleder and Zuazua attribute UP’s CPR training classes for preparing them to save their co-worker’s life.

“I feel like annual CPR training is a good refresher, because once you learn it, you’ll know how to do it,” Rohleder said. “I encourage everyone to participate in our safety training classes.”

Both Engineering employees are very glad they were there to help. Their co-worker’s health is improving, and he has thanked them for their aid.

“If I’m ever in that same situation, I hope somebody is there for me,” Zuazua said. “I just did what I was taught to do to protect a fellow employee.”

Union Pacific's Courage to Care is a personal commitment to do our jobs with a passion for safety. It is reflected in actions such as giving and receiving feedback on unsafe behaviors, finding and eliminating risk, and improving the work environment, so that everyone returns home safely every day.

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