Father saves son’s life

Thanks to Salvation Army training, a life is saved.


Recently, The Salvation Army in Murrieta, Calif. offered a Medic First Aid Plus course, taught by master trainers, Don Read, Emergency Disaster coordinator for Sierra del Mar Division, and Monica Severson, director of Emergency Disaster Services for the Western Territory. Captain Joe Whipple, Victor Valley corps officer, assisted them. The course included CPR, first aid and automated defibrillation training.

Among the 24 attending were the McCubben family—Bob and Lillian (ages 78 and 73) and their son Steven (51)—who wanted to be better prepared as members of the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN). These are volunteer ham radio operators who provide communications for the Army during disasters.

They soon put their training to work! In a restaurant parking lot, Steven, who uses a disability scooter to get around, had a heart attack. He fell out of his scooter onto his face and bled severely. Quickly assessing the situation, his father used his recent training, turning Steven over on his back, getting the bleeding under control, and clearing his airway. Finding no signs of breathing, he adjusted his son’s head and neck and began CPR, giving him three full breaths.

While Steven’s wife, Deata, called 911, Tiffany Arcand, the manager of the restaurant (Karl Strauss Brewing Company), helped Bob maintain an open airway. When the emergency services team arrived they gave Steven four shocks before he started to breathe again and his heart began to beat. He was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital.

Steven returned home after several weeks in the hospital and is resting comfortably. Without doubt, if Bob and Lillian had not had the training, Steven would not be home with them today.

The Salvation Army offers this important basic first aid training to communities across the country. For more information, contact your divisional emergency disaster services coordinator.

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