UHV assistant fire marshal recognized for saving life
When Stuart Sherman recently was singing during a church service, he wasn’t expecting to perform CPR and save a life that day or receive an award for it.
Sherman, the University of Houston-Victoria assistant fire marshal-emergency manager and appointed police officer for the University of Houston Police Department, received a 2018 Lifesaving Award on May 7 at the University of Houston Police Department’s Badge Pinning Ceremony at the Rockwell Pavilion for performing CPR April 22 on a church praise team member who collapsed during service. Sherman, who formerly was a paramedic, was able to resuscitate the woman and save her life.
“After about four compressions, the woman started breathing loudly and talking again,” Sherman said. “I didn’t expect to be at the right place or time that day. That’s why it’s so important for all of us to have basic first aid and CPR knowledge because it could happen to any of us, at any time.”
Travis Gundelach, a UH Police Department sergeant, works with Sherman and nominated him for the award.
“We’re very fortunate to have Stuart here at UHV with the experience and skill set he has,” Gundelach said. “I’m glad he was at that church service and in a position to help that lady. His heroic act is representative of what the true spirit of public service is all about.”
Sherman has worked in fire service since 1986, he was the City of Victoria’s fire marshal from 2001 to 2008 before retiring. In 2016, he rejoined the safety field in his UHV role to continue his passion to help in times of need. In addition to building policies, fire and safety inspections, and state and local compliance management, Sherman leads safety training for UHV faculty and staff to be prepared in emergencies.
“As an emergency responder, we’re always responding to heart attacks, strokes, car wrecks, injuries, and those kinds of things can happen right here on campus,” Sherman said. “Because of that, we are offering a CPR course to UHV faculty and staff to encourage them to take quick action when an emergency happens instead of waiting.”
Sherman was glad he knew CPR and was able to react quickly, he said. If he would have waited he may not have been able to revive the woman.
“It’s human nature for people to think they’ll never be in that position,” Sherman said. “But when someone hits the ground and you don’t know what to do, it’s too late to take a CPR class. Everyone should learn how to check a pulse, perform CPR and call 9-1-1, to have some sort of assurance should it happen to them.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.