Saving a life
EDITOR: Recently, a friend of mine suffered cardiac arrest at home before leaving for work.
He is alive today because his wife called 911 immediately and spoke with REDCOM dispatch.
He is alive because his wife and son immediately performed aggressive hands-only CPR as directed by the dispatcher.
He is alive because a Gold Ridge fire engine arrived within minutes, firefighters continued CPR and shocked him with an AED.
He is alive because a Sonoma Life Support ambulance paramedic arrived a minute later to provide advanced care and transport him to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
He is alive because he was treated expertly at the hospital.
He's now home because our EMS system worked exactly as it was designed. His smile and sore chest are a testament to the value of hands-only CPR performed immediately by family or bystanders.
Question: Do the friends, family and community around you know how to do hands-only CPR? Will you know what to do when it is your family member or friend?
If the answer is no, go to heartrescuenow.com. You can learn how to save a life in less than five minutes.
Treating mental illness
EDITOR: Tammie Pisors wrote that she needs to have a "rapid fire semi-automatic weapon with at least a 30-round clip to stop an out-of-control rights-abusing government" ("Citizen firepower," Letters, Feb. 6). Hmmm, is she suicidal? Is she planning to overthrow such a government with force and violence? Doesn't she remember what happened to Randy Weaver's family, to David Koresh and his followers? The only way to change the government today is with the ballot, not with bullets.
What we do need is sensible gun control. What we need even more is a system to treat people who have mental health problems.
The Fort Bragg tragedy could have been prevented; thousands of dollars and three lives saved had such a system been in place. When the Fort Bragg family pleaded for help, they were turned down.
We could also benefit from having trained personnel accompanying peace officers responding in such situations.
For lack of such training, we lost a Sebastopol high school student, a hallucinating Santa Rosa man and, shortly thereafter, a woman in Rohnert Park trying to commit suicide. All three deaths came after loved ones called for help when an individual needed it.
Fixing the vote
EDITOR: Mark J. Carpenter ("Tyranny of the majority," Letters, Feb. 5) eloquently pointed out that the Founding Fathers wouldn't be turning over in their graves at the mere thought of states changing the way they allocate electoral votes. I would argue, if they knew what is proposed, they'd be spinning like tops.
What he failed to mention is why some states want to change the allocation. Within a few days of Mitt Romney losing the election, it dawned on the Republican leadership that if they had changed the electoral allocating methods in a half-dozen or so states, Romney would have won. The proposed change would follow the same pattern that kept the House in GOP hands even though Democratic candidates received 1.1 million more votes. President Barack Obama received 5 million more votes, but under this allocation plan he would have lost the electoral count and hence the election. Think about that.