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Dave Rodgers

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09/20/2016

When I was 19, I came home to find my father having a heart attack. My mother was over an hour away visiting her sister and I did not know CPR or what to do. I called 911 immediately. I remember the sirens, the police, all of the first responders coming into my home with all of their equipment, hooking my father up to the EKG monitor, and all I could do was stand there, motionless. It was such a helpless feeling. After 10 minutes or so, the Sheriff came over, put his arm around me and said words I will never forget, "Young man I am so sorry to tell you we could not save your father, he has been down too long." I never wanted to feel that way again, let alone anyone else feel that way.

That day changed my life. Two weeks after my father's funeral, I took a CPR/First-Aid class with the American Red Cross, and two days after my training, a student in one of my classes, collapsed, wasn't breathing, and I gave her rescue breaths and saved her life. It was an awesome feeling. Completely opposite of what I felt when I lost my father. I became a dual major in college, completing one of my degrees in Health Science. My goal was to teach Health, and to teach CPR to as many students as possible.

Today, I teach Health Science to high school students and teach an after school EMS Careers Explorer class. I also just achieved my 10th year of part-time service with AMR as an EMT. I, along with many of my teaching and EMS colleagues, have trained more than 2,000 of my students in CPR. I am certainly determined to get others involved if there is an emergency, and to never have them feel the way I felt that fateful day back in 1987 when I lost my father.

That is why I am proud to be a part of the AMR family.