FORT HOOD, Texas — The American Red Cross of Fort Hood will hold a Lifesaving Awards Ceremony for two Department of the Army Civilians who helped save the life of an unconscious gentleman in a car in El Paso. The Lifesaving Award Ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., Nov. 13, here.

On Mar 19, 2020, Department of the Army Civilians Eric Karnjanapanang and Jeffery Bermudez of Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems helped sustain the life of a gentleman who became unconscious in a car in El Paso.. While Karnjanapanang was leaving a Candlewood Suites parking lot, he noticed a gentleman looking idle in his car and determined the gentleman needed assistance. Upon further assessment, Karnjanapang was able to detect that the gentleman was breathing but unresponsive. He immediately alerted the front desk of the hotel about the gentleman’s condition and went back to the scene with fellow civilian, Jeffrey Bermudez. Karnjanapanang directed Bermudez to call 911 while he left the scene to grab a rescue ax from his car. Once he returned, Karnjanapanang and Bermudez broke the windows to the gentleman’s car and unlocked the vehicle to conduct an assessment on the gentleman’s vitals. The gentleman’s pulse was weak, and his breathing was extremely shallow. They removed him from the vehicle and laid him on the ground for continued assessment. Karnjanapang then directed hotel staff members to bring blankets so the gentleman could remain warm until EMS arrived on scene.

The honorees, Eric Karnjanapanang and Jeffery Bermudez, will both be receiving the Certificate of Extraordinary Action award. They were nominated by Wesley McMahand, Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces Regional Program Manager for the American Red Cross, Central and South Texas Region. Awards will be presented by Anjuli Renold, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Heart of Texas Chapter.

What it is

Our National Lifesaving Awards program is an American Red Cross Training Services program that recognizes and honors individuals and teams who save or sustain a life using skills you can learn in a Red Cross Training class.

Why it matters

Inspiring stories are often heard about people who have used their American Red Cross training in difficult situations. Collecting and recognizing lifesaving stories arms us with compelling and inspiring cases we can use to educate the public on the importance of safety and preparedness training.

Who can participate

Anyone can participate in the program; everyday citizens, professional responders, healthcare workers and Red Cross associates like you are all encouraged to submit nominations and share stories through whenever lifesaving skills are used to save or sustain a life.

How it works

Anyone can share a story or nominate an individual or team by submitting a simple online form at


Certificate of Merit

Signed by the President of the United States

  • Red Cross trained individuals or teams
  • Professional responders* including healthcare workers acting while off duty

Lifesaving Award for professional responders

  • Professional responders* including healthcare workers acting while on duty

Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action

  • Individuals or Teams who are not Red Cross trained

Lifesaving Instructor Award

  • Instructors who have taught Red Cross skills to a recipient of the Certificate of Merit or Lifesaving Award

*Note: Professional responders are defined as individuals who have an obligation to respond while on duty as part of their employment, e.g., lifeguards, police, fire and EMS personnel; healthcare workers.

Media desiring to attend the Nov. 13 ceremony must register here no later than 4 p.m. Nov 12. On Nov. 13 a public affairs representative will meet the media at the south parking lot of Marvin Leath Visitors Center located on T. J. Mills Blvd. at 8 a.m. for an escort to the event.