Norah Sliger, a volunteer with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Corps, was able to put her emergency training to use recently, when a nearby customer in the restaurant where she was dining with a friend needed assistance.
Sliger and friend Betsy Hambeton, the Citizens Corps Program Coordinator, had just spent the morning helping launch the new Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. Following the event, the women decided to have lunch together.
Halfway through their meal, they noticed a woman at a nearby table who seemed to be in distress. Uncertain as to the nature of her problem, they thought she might be having a mild seizure. When Sliger noticed the woman’s lips turning blue, she swung into action. Administering three separate sets of abdominal thrusts to dislodge food caught in the woman’s airway, Sliger was able to prevent the woman from choking and save her life.
According to Hambleton, Sliger remained completely calm during the crises and is credited by her friend as being solely responsible for preventing the woman’s death. When the moment of crises had passed the two friends offered to contact 911 but the woman claimed she felt well enough to forego any other treatment.
The Sheriff’s Office Citizen Corps is currently served by nearly 500 volunteers who make up five teams. Mobile Auxiliary Response, Homeland Security Council, Emergency Response Team, Animal Rescue and Law Enforcement Chaplain are the five teams and together they provided more than 15,000 hours of service like that provided by Sliger to the community.