NEWS | Aug. 21, 2020

Spouse of Local Coast Guardsman receives Red Cross’ highest award

By Senior Airman Joshua R. Maund Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Misty Gilbert, a U.S. Coast Coast Guardsmen’s wife, received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit during a virtual ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina, July 7, 2020.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course.

“I was very honored to be recognized and I hope it inspires others to get CPR certified as well,” said Gilbert. “It was an emotional day for me. It happened over a year ago, but very few people knew about it as it had been a hard thing for me to talk about.”

In May of 2019, Gilbert was a nanny for a 21 month-old boy. One day, he suddenly collapsed. Without hesitation, Gilbert dialed 911 and began administering CPR. Shortly after paramedics arrived, he regained consciousness.

“As soon as he collapsed, adrenaline kicked in and it was a complete out of body experience,” said Gilbert. “I knew I had to be strong for him and my son who witnessed the entire thing. I don’t think it [set] in how scared I was until the ambulance arrived and they put him on the stretcher. 

Gilbert and her husband, who is stationed on the USCGC Stone, have lived in Charleston since 2017. She volunteers with Blue Star Families, where she organizes monthly events for military families. Gilbert and other volunteers are currently working to establish an official BSF chapter in the Charleston area.

 “Blue Star Family offers a variety of programs that enhance family life, help spouses find jobs, provide caregivers with essential support and connect families with their civilian neighbors to build strong communities,” said Gilbert.

“I would encourage everyone to get CPR and First Aid certified,” Gilbert continued. “You really never know when an occasion will arise that you will have to use it, and it really does save lives!”

To get the Basic Life Saving Support Training Gilbert utilized, contact your local Red Cross chapter to schedule a class. To find the nearest Blue Star Families chapter or become a volunteer, visit Bluestarfam.org.