Our view: Firefighter at the next table | SteamboatToday.com

Our view: Firefighter at the next table

Editorial board

Suzanne Schlicht, publisher and COO

Lisa Schlichtman, editor

Jim Patterson, assistant editor, ext. 208

Tom Ross, reporter

Diane Moore, community representative

Carl Steidtmann, community representative

At issue

Taking a share of the responsibility for emergency first response in our community

Our view

At a time when society is confronted with people intent on taking lives, we can all prepare to give the gift of life

The recent news story about the elderly woman who lapsed into unconsciousness here Nov. 29 after choking on food at one of Steamboat Springs’ finest restaurants but was revived by alert strangers reminds us we can’t always expect that two firefighters out on a date with their wives will be sitting at the next table when we need them most.

Instead, everyone in our little community has an obligation to at least acquire some rudimentary skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). And we should all be able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on someone who is about to choke to death. It’s just a matter of how much we care.

The newspaper welcomed the opportunity late last month to report some uplifting news on the emergency front in the midst of an early holiday season that has seen profound tragedy internationally, nationally and closer to home, in Colorado Springs.

The grim news made it all the more rewarding to share with our readers how Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters Paul Gilbertson and Tony DeRisio leapt into action on a Sunday night to save a fellow diner. We can infer Gilbertson and DeRisio were probably welcoming the chance to enjoy a date night with their spouses when duty called. Still, it was no surprise they leapt up to do what they train tirelessly to do — save lives.

Your next chance to train yourself to save a life arrives Dec. 16, when Steamboat Springs Fire and Rescue will host a free class to teach community members the basics of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue is offering the class to teach those skills, as well as how to assist someone showing signs of a heart attack or a stroke, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

This is the time of year when our calendars are filled with office parties, philanthropy, holiday concerts and shopping for gifts for family and friends. You could make time for the upcoming CPR class and be prepared to give the gift of life to a loved one — or perhaps even a complete stranger.

We think the class — with its focus on saving lives — deserves serious consideration during the 2015 holidays, which have been scarred by people intent on taking lives.

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