Nikkolas (Nick) Henderson, an ACE Lot Attendant at the newly opened University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) Events facility, was awarded the rare ACE Parking Hero Award last week for his initiative and quick thinking when faced with an emergency situation.

Nick was on duty when a UMCP guest attending the onsite field hockey camp suddenly began to have a heart attack. Nick immediately jumped into action by calling 911. Another guest at the scene, who happened to be a nurse, offered to assist the heart attack victim until medics arrived onsite. Nick facilitated the emergency assistance throughout the crisis by directing traffic around the area, allowing medical staff to quickly access the victim and carry out their work unimpeded.

Following the crisis, local ACE management received an email of gratitude from Special Events Contract Manager (UMCP-DOTS), Daniel Powell, who wrote, “The nurse who went to help told me that Nick’s actions almost certainly saved the man’s life. I lack the words to properly commend him to you, only to say that you are exceptionally fortunate to have such an employee.”

Nick recounts the events of that day in a brief interview with ACE staff.

ACE Staff: “Describe the events that occurred at UMCP that day.”

Nick: “I was assisting a guest that was coming on campus, when I saw a group of people standing over someone on the ground. I first assumed that he passed out from overexertion or heat exhaustion. My first reaction was to assist. The guest I was currently assisting said she knew CPR so I asked her to please help. The guest immediately went over to apply CPR and I immediately called 911. After calling 911, I ensured traffic flow kept moving and people did not block the route of the paramedics coming to assist the fallen patron. Shortly thereafter, the paramedics came and assisted the fallen patron.”

ACE Staff: “How did you know what to do?”

Nick: “My instincts kicked in, and I did what I feel anyone else in my position would have done.”

ACE Staff: “Describe how you stayed focused and kept the customers safe and calm.”

Nick: “I stayed focused by re-routing traffic and taking the attention away from the patron, so that proper assistance could be rendered in the form of CPR. I really can’t take the credit for keeping the customers calm and safe, as it was a group effort. I feel I did my part by keeping traffic flow moving and calling 911.”

ACE Staff: “What will you remember most about the experience?”

Nick: “You have to be knowledgeable and remain calm in a hectic situation. If you panic, you cannot perform your duties properly.”

ACE Staff: “Is there anything you want to say to the customer whose life you helped save?”

Nick: “I hope you had a swift recovery and are back in good health.”

In acknowledgement of Nick’s assertive and quick action during a critical situation, ACE Regional Director for the D.C. Metro area, Brendon Bowen, presented Nick with the ACE Hero Award during a brief ceremony held on the UMCP campus last week. The award included a certificate of appreciation and commemorative trophy.

Nick’s life-saving actions are an inspiration and a true representation of the difference every ACE employee can make when they are willing to go above and beyond for our clients and guests.