RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Two properties in Sparks are owned by Brookdale Senior Living, the parent company of the retirement facility in Bakersfield that refused to do CPR on an elderly woman who collapsed.
Brookdale owns Wynwood of Sparks, an assisted living facility, and Villas of Sparks. an independent living community like the section of Glenwood Gardens iwhere the 87-year-old woman collapsed.
Evette Lockhart the executive director of the Villas said they don't have medical personnel on staff.
"As an independent living community, we don't provide medical services because we're not licensed to by law," Lockhart said.
"It's absolutely insane and it needs to change as soon as possible," said a Villas employee who wanted to remain anonymous to protect her job.
She says she's seen people who've fallen lying on the ground and wasn't allowed to help them up, which she says is heartbreaking.
"You go home at night and you can't sleep," she said. "You can't think about anything else but how that person is or what happened to them."
At Wynwood, Brookdale's assisted living facility, they would do CPR if it's what the person wanted.
Executive Director Bob Matts said. "My staff are all trained in first aid and we would provide appropriate first aid to an individual in an emergency according to their wishes."
So it seems the policy depends on the property. The Villas employee said the independent living rules violate common sense.
"It's horrific to have to make a choice like that, to choose your job over what you know is right to do as a human being," she said.
She says she'd always choose to help.
"I wouldn't even think twice about it," she said. "I know what's right."
It's a decision she said no one should ever have to make.
News 4 talked to other local senior living centers about their policies.
Dave Schneck, executive director of Cascades of the Sierra - which has independent and assisted living and a memory care facility - said what happened in Bakersfield is disturbing and makes no sense.
Schneck says every single employee of Cascades, regardless of position, is required to be CPR certified and must renew the certification every year.
Lisa Marie Campbell, executive director of Emeritus at Reno, an assisted living facility, said all of their staff members are certified and any certified person can administer CPR as long as they've called 911.
"It is our policy to do the right thing in all circumstances, so we'll stand behind any employee who does so," Campbell said.
Renown spokeswoman Stacy Kendall said all staff at Monaco Ridge assisted living and all nursing staff at Renown Skilled Nursing are CPR certified.
"All nursing staff is required to have current life support certification so they can respond to any emergency treatment that a patient needs," Kendall said.
Schneck said all assisted living facilities in Nevada are required by the state to make sure employees who come in contact with residents are CPR certified, but those rules don't apply when it's an independent living community.