Berks County high school senior hailed a hero

READING, Pa. - December 13, 2010

Nathan Cruz of Spring Township wears many hats.

He's a senior at Wilson High School, a busboy at the Circle S Ranch House Restaurant, and now, you can add the title lifesaver.

"I just want to help people, that's the only reason why I'm doing the training I'm doing," Nathan said.

Nathan is referring to the training he receives for his other career as a member of the Western Berks Fire Department.

The training came in handy while working at the restaurant this weekend.

A wheelchair-bound senior citizen started choking on her meal and then blacked out.

Though Nathan had only trained performing CPR on mannequins, he responded quickly and professionally.

He performed the Heimlich Maneuver then administered CPR and it worked.

Nathan's coworkers and fellow firefighters could not be prouder.

"He's gone above and beyond the training what we asked for in taking the Emergency Medical Technician class and, just in general, [Nathan] is an upstanding citizen of the community," Western Berks Fire Commissioner Jeffrey Weidner said.

The soft-spoken 18-year-old insists he is no hero, but don't tell that to his mom.

"I know better. He's a complete hero in my eyes," Nathan's mom Pamela Cruz said.

The woman Nathan rescued is recovering in Reading Hospital. Her family wanted tell Nathan two things: he is a hero and thank you.

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