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July 25, 2012: Red Cross Awards Francois Certificate of Merit

American Red Cross Certificate of MeritSon saves father, father saves another 

On Feb. 21, 2011, Francois Tort, trained in American Red Cross Emergency Response, helped save the life of his father, Eric.

While having a family dinner, Eric began choking on a piece of food. Upon hearing choking noises from another room, Francois immediately approached his father and administered abdonimal thrusts to successfully dislodge the blockage. Eric sustained no injuries from the incident.

In April of that year, Tampa's 10 News 10 Connects named Francois Tort, of Fast Twitch Fitness Performance as "Hero of the Week." To see the footage, click here.

The Certificate of Merit is signed by the President of the United States, who traditionally serves as the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross. This custom began in 1913, with President William Howard Taft, who had also been elected President of the American Red Cross. President Taft passed on the honorary Red Cross Chairmanship to newly elected President Woodrow Wilson, thus setting a precedent which continues today.

As a result of an executive action, on September 17, 1928, the Certificate of Merit was established. From 1928 to the present, the Certificate of Merit has borne the signatures of 15 Presidents of the United States. The Certificate of Merit have been issued to individuals who have saved or have sustained a life as a direct result of American Red Cross training in its Health and Safety programs.

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