Two York County residents honored for saving man’s life

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch

Two York County residents were honored Wednesday for saving a man’s life at a hardware store in Windsor Township in July.

Roger Stoner, owner of Rick’s Home Center Inc., an Ace Hardware affiliate, praised the life-saving measures of Kathryn Tate, of Red Lion, and Jerry Saylor, of East Prospect, calling their actions “a heroic effort.”

“The thing that really amazed me about the whole thing is neither one of them knew who the guy was and yet they both were more than willing to jump in and help during this time of (COVID-19), and it saved the man’s life,” Stoner said.  “It was pretty amazing.”

York Area Regional Police Chief Tim Damon presents a Citizens Commendation from the department to Kathryn Tate of  Red Lion, and Jerry Saylor, right of East Prospect for their life-saving measures when a customer collapsed at Ace Hardware in Red Lion in July.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The customer, who Stoner said was in his late 60s or early 70s, collapsed July 20 in an aisle at the hardware store, located at 800 S. Main St. in Windsor Township.

“I ran over to him, I thought he just fell,” Stoner said when reached Thursday. “He said he was fine. I helped him sit up. Then, all of a sudden, after I left, somebody hollered and I ran back over there and he was out flat. I ran back and called 911.”

Tate, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and certified nurse midwife, was nearby and almost immediately began to give the man CPR.

“Roger said he needed help and I ran around the corner, took the guy’s pulse, put him in the recovery position, put him on his side,” she said. “He was a big guy. His breathing was labored. I checked again and he did not have a pulse."

Saylor, a U.S. Army veteran and former firefighter, said he was “glad to be able to help out.” 

“I started doing chest compressions and then Jerry came over and asked if I needed help and we switched off every two cycles until the EMTs got there,” Tate said.

State Reps. Mike Jones, R-York Township, and Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, on Wednesday presented Tate and Jerry Saylor with citations from the state House of Representatives.

York Area Regional Police Chief Timothy Damon also presented them with a Citizen Commendation award.

"(The) actions of these citizens saved the man's life," police said in a news release. "Their actions are commendable at any time, but exceptional during (COVID-19)." 

Tate and Jerry Saylor, who said he is a distant relative of Stan Saylor, were happy to be in the right place at the right time.

“Humbling, remarkable and amazing,” Tate said. “I’m glad we were there for the man when he needed us.”

“I wasn’t expecting anything for doing what I did,” Jerry Saylor said. “I just did what I was supposed to do in that situation.”

York Area Regional Police were unable to provide a current condition update on the man Thursday.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.