Rommel Gloria Hero
Maricopa Meadows resident Rommel Gloria accepts a certificate and coin recognizing his heroism from Chief James Hughes, right, at Thursday night's Coffee with the Cops event. At left is Cmdr. Stephen Judd. [file]

A Maricopa man was hailed as a hero Thursday night for his quick-thinking actions that saved the life of a stranger in need.

The morning of Feb. 2 started like many others for Rommel Gloria, 42, who was driving his son to Maricopa Elementary School when he saw a man lying motionless on the sidewalk in the 45000 block of West Amsterdam Road in Maricopa Meadows, where he has lived since 2015.

Gloria stopped his car and checked on the man, who was unconscious and not breathing. He quickly dialed 9-1-1. Though he had never been trained in CPR, the fiber optic engineer sprung into action, guided by a dispatcher. He performed the maneuver for 5-7 minutes to keep the man’s heart beating until a Maricopa police Ofc. Scott Schreiber arrived on the scene to take over chest compressions. An ambulance responded soon after and transported the man to a hospital in Chandler. He survived the medical episode.

“It was just human instinct,” Gloria said of his quick-thinking actions, adding he would do it again in a heartbeat.

Maricopa police Chief James Hughes presented Gloria a certificate thanking him for his heroic response and service to the community as well as a Chief’s Coin for Excellence, just the second one handed out by the chief, who took over the department in January.

“The opportunity to save a human life is an achievement you will cherish for the rest of your life,” Hughes told Gloria and a small audience at the Maricopa Library and Cultural Center for the monthly Coffee with the Cops event. A number of Maricopa officers joined Hughes and Cmdr. Stephen Judd in attendance.

“Due to the heroic actions of Mr. Gloria to save a life, a Citizen Lifesaving Award is hereby presented as our Thank You for your service to our great community!” the certificate read.

Gloria accepted the honors surrounded by his family – wife Vanessa, daughter Roanne, 16, and sons A.J., 14, and Jayden, 6. His parents, Antonio and Elena Gloria, also drove six hours from Los Angeles to watch MPD recognize their son.

“It’s overwhelming,” Gloria said after the event. “I’ve always dreamed of helping someone but didn’t think it would happen like this. I will remember this for the rest of my life.”