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NEWS | Sept. 11, 2023

Pennsylvania Guard Soldier Recognized for Lifesaving Actions

By 2nd Lt. Kate Kramer, Pennsylvania National Guard

LANCASTER, Pa. – Lt. Col. Mark Martella, commander of the 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, was recognized during a board of commissioners meeting at the Manheim Township County Office Aug. 28 for his lifesaving actions June 1.

Scott Little, chief of Manheim Township Fire Department, presented Martella and Officers Dylan Canada and Michael Tappen letters of commendation for their heroic efforts in saving the life of a man who was unconscious and suffering a heart attack. Keith Still, an off-duty paramedic who was the first to respond to the incident, received a medal of gallantry.

The man involved in the incident was transported to the hospital, where he improved daily. As of Aug. 28, he has made a full recovery. He was able to personally recognize and thank each of the men involved with rendering lifesaving measures to him.

“The ceremony was a great opportunity to publicly honor our first responders, police officers and those that continue to serve our community,” said Martella. “Seeing the man and his family was a reminder that courage and small acts of kindness can have such a profound impact and sometimes can save a life.”

Martella was driving on Route 30 on his way to work on June 1 when he saw two vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

While driving past, he noticed Still performing CPR for the man who was unconscious and suffering a heart attack. Martella pulled over to help.

While Still performed CPR, Martella performed mouth-to-mouth. Another unknown man also stopped to help. Tappen and Canada were called and promptly showed up to assist.

Little said, Martella and Still played a key role in helping save the man’s life.

“Mark Martella was able to help Keith in helping this man,” said Little after the incident in June. “It was as good as it could have gone. If it were not for the actions of Keith and Mark, this family would have had a funeral this week.”

Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, adjutant general of Pennsylvania, praised Martella on Twitter, saying that it was good to see Pennsylvania National Guard members stop and help those in need when many assume others will act.

“It’s really about coming together as a community for a good cause, humans helping humans,” said Martella.