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Impact

Rapid Response from Arby’s Team Members Helps Save a Man’s Life

November 23, 2020
By Raj Prashad

“He doesn’t have a pulse.”

Stephanie Garisto instantly knew something was wrong. A guest had suffered a medical emergency in the Arby’s drive-thru in Akron, Ohio. She jumped right into action, joining team members Billy Lehman and Amanda Merlo.

“Amanda was with the guest’s wife and Billy ran out to get him out of the car,” Stephanie said. “I just remember thinking we’re not going to let this happen without trying to save his life. As soon as I looked at him, I knew he wasn’t breathing.”

Lehman laid the guest down on the pavement outside of his car and Garisto began chest compressions until medical personnel arrived. While the EMTs worked on him, Garisto stayed with his wife until the ambulance took him away.

After weeks passed, the Arby’s team received a letter from the guest, where he outlined how their quick work had saved his life.

“One of your employees helped get me out of the vehicle onto the pavement, where another Arby’s employee assisted my wife with chest compressions before the ambulance arrived,” he wrote. “A third employee was communicating to the emergency responder on our Subaru STARLINK system ensuring the ambulance had the correct address. I would love to personally meet each of the three employees.”

“I need to thank them for the part they played in saving my life.”

As their eyes followed the words, Garisto, Lehman and Merlo shed tears of happiness.

“We were all so happy when we found out he’d survived,” Garisto said. “Just knowing we all had a hand in helping him meant so much.”

The family is still working to coordinate meeting up, but for now, the Arby’s team at store #6937 will cherish the role they played in saving one guest’s life.