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March 21, 2006

Be Prepared!

Mary and I've known Rob Shurtleff for a long time.  He was a program manger at Microsoft (tough job) when I first met him.  He was our customer for a while; helped recruit me to Microsoft; and we worked together there.  He's been a successful entrepreneur and investor and is now a VC.  But he's also always been a Boy Scout in the best sense of the word.

Rob sent me the guest blog below:

Many years ago when I worked at HP we were all encouraged to take public service classes like CPR. When our son joined a Boy Scout troop, I tagged along and took the course again. Knowing Tom and Mary have been active in Red Cross activities for many years led me to share the following story.

Saturday night I was at a remote restaurant when the call went out for someone that knew CPR. I looked around and found none of the 30 or so folks in the room indicated that they were trained. With much trepidation, I raised my hand...

Jumping to the end of the story, I didn't need to do full CPR, however knowing the simple ABC CPR drill (step A was sufficient, getting an airway cleared) was adequate to stabilize an elderly gentleman for the thirty minutes it took the EMTs to arrive on the scene.

After the situation had been handed off to the professionals, a few thoughts crystallized:

I am sure in casual conversation if you had asked me to recite the ABCs of CPR, I might have struggled, but the combination of adrenaline and the urgency of the moment popped that training right to top.

I realized how grateful I was that I had picked up this training. If you get a chance, take that refresher course or introductory course in CPR. Although I was scared stiff when I raised my hand, I know I would have been much more uncomfortable if no one in the room could have helped.  You never know when CPR skill will be needed.

This is Tom again:

Mary and I get our CPR training and refreshers at the Red Cross.  Never had to use it but hope Rob's right that adrenaline'll will help and not hurt my ability to perform.  I am rusty though and will get a refresher.  It's too dumb not to.

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