Zoo employee receives Red Cross award for saving visitor's life

A Cincinnati woman was recognized by the American Red Cross and President Obama for her heroic acts this past summer.

Sara Benjamin, a Cincinnati Zoo employee and Red Cross instructor, was presented the Certificate of Merit Award after performing CPR on a zoo patron who appeared to be going into cardiac arrest.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest Life-Saving award assigned by the American Red Cross.

The prestigious award is given to a nominated individual who assists or saves a human life, and has successfully finished a Red Cross course in first aid, CPR, AED or aquatics prior to deed of saving or sustaining a human life. The award will be signed by President Obama.

Sara Peller, retiring CEO of the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region, noted the value of learning CPR.

"Sara (Benjamin) exemplifies the importance of being trained in CPR," Peller said. "In a situation like this seconds make a difference which is why we are so proud to present Sara with this award."

The Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the American Red Cross presented this high honor to Benjamin on Wednesday morning during the chapter's board meeting.

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