Quick Response to Jefferson Emergency

On Thursday, Sept. 20, CDOT employees Kenny Gabel (TM-II, Patrol 32 at Fairplay, Aurora Maintenance Section 5, Region 1) and his patrol co-workers, Richard Twaddell and Chad Rutter, had stopped at a little country store in Jefferson to grab a quick lunch.  Gabel and Rutter had returned to their truck and Twaddell was on his way when a man who had stopped to purchase gasoline suddenly groaned audibly and collapsed nearby.

"Chad called 911, and I began chest compressions," Gabel noted.  Twaddell grabbed the facemask breathing aid each CDOT truck carries in its first aid kit and began managing the victim's breathing.  This all went on for 20 minutes or longer until a firetruck arrived from Jefferson/Como and an ambulance had covered the 16 miles from Fairplay.

There had been no promising life signs during all that time, and when the paramedics arrived and hooked up their monitoring equipment, the outcome was confirmed - the gentleman, whose address was Nathrop, had passed away.  Gabel said he appeared to be in his 60s or perhaps 70.

Gabel credited the training he and his co-workers receive at the CDOT Maintenance Training Academy for knowing exactly what to do.  "We were assisting him within 10-15 seconds after he fell," Gabel said.  CDOT Maintenance professionals are trained in first aid and recertified in CPR every two years at the Maintenance Academy.

At some point in each person's life, our time is up.  But that doesn't diminish the very quick, effective response given by the CDOT employees that day.  "Knowing what to do is the key," Gabel said.  Being willing to jump in and help at a moment's notice is another.

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