1234717782rathfon.jpgOn Saturday February 18th,  2012 John Rathfon, while working as a Paramedic Ski Patroller, saved a man’s life. The very fortunate skier suffered what is commonly known as Sudden Cardiac Arrest. John who is a Full time firefighter/paramedic with the City of Ketchum’s fire department was working his second job as a ski patroller for the Sun Valley Ski Patrol. Around noon on the 18th he was dispatched from the top of Bald mountain with an AED strapped to his back. He arrived on scene to find two ski patrollers performing CPR on a patient. John applied the AED and in a life saving effort applied his knowledge and professionalism to the scene and delivered a shock that converted the patients’ heart beat from a rhythm that will not sustain life to one that will. After being unconscious for approximately 10 minutes the patient started to breath on his own and woke up. He was then rushed to a waiting ambulance and transferred to a nearby Cardiology Center. He was home the next day and returned to skiing several days later. Thanks to John and his fellow ski patrollers the patient has no change in the quality of his life and will continue to enjoy skiing for years to come. 



Local firefighter commended for saving life

Seth Martin used Heimlich maneuver


On Monday evening, a veteran with the Ketchum Fire Department was recognized for his heroism in saving the life of a local woman who was choking. Seth Martin, a lieutenant paramedic with the Ketchum Fire Department, received an official commendation for performing a life-saving procedure after the attempts of others to save the woman had failed.

On March 10, Ketchum Fire Department received a call at 7:49 p.m. reporting a choking at a local restaurant. Lieutenant Martin entered the restaurant to find a woman face-down on the floor, unresponsive and not breathing, with her face turning blue after previous attempts to assist her had failed. Martin performed two Heimlich maneuvers on the woman, with the second maneuver proving successful at clearing her airway.

Martin was joined at his commendation ceremony by the woman he saved.



Martin was dispatched to il Naso restaurant on March 10 to help a choking woman. Upon arrival, Martin, who was driving an ambulance, was told to immediately go inside while his partner brought in the medical gear. Martin found an unresponsive woman face down on the floor who wasn’t breathing. Bystanders reported attempting the Heimlich maneuver multiple times. Fire Chief Mike Elle said Martin calmly assessed the situation, dropped to a knee, picked up Blue and placed her in a sitting position while he performed two Heimlich thrusts to her upper abdomen, successfully dislodging the food. Blue started breathing on her own and regained consciousness within a minute. She was transported to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center for possible aspiration but was otherwise unharmed.

Express photo by Willy Cook

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