American Red Cross honors Pittsburgh Pirates employee for saving a life

Updated on October 16, 2023

Last month, the American Red Cross honored Patrick Benedict, a gameday security team member for the Pittsburgh Pirates, with a Red Cross Lifesaving Award at PNC Park. Benedict called on his Red Cross training to save the life of his coworker on June 7.

The incident happened during Benedict’s first day of work this spring when he noticed his fellow team member choking on a hot dog and unable to breathe. Benedict jumped into action, performing abdominal thrusts, until pieces of hot dog dislodged from his coworker’s throat. Benedict’s lifesaving act came just one year after he completed the Red Cross lifeguarding course with CPR, AED and first aid training.

Jorge Martinez, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania, presented Benedict with the Red Cross Lifesaving Award during a pre-game ceremony on the field. It is the highest award given to an individual who saves or sustains a life, outside of a medical setting, as part of their employment.

“We’re extremely proud to present a Lifesaving Award to Patrick,” Martinez said. “In my time with the Red Cross, I’ve learned that heroes are all around us – but it takes a special person to step forward and act quickly and decisively in a crisis. We commend Patrick for stepping up in an emergency and using his Red Cross training to help save a life.”

The American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards date back to 1911. Benedict is now part of a group of about 2,400 people worldwide who have received a Red Cross Lifesaving Award.

GET TRAINED Every day, the Red Cross empowers thousands of people with the skills to save lives by offering courses on CPR, first aid, water safety and more. Sign up at

NOMINATE A LIFESAVER If you or someone you know has used skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit to nominate, recognize or be inspired.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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