When Troy Steadman and his friend, Daniel Bertram, decided to spend the evening of September 7, 2013, at Cherry Creek Reservoir, neither could have guessed they would be responsible for saving the lives of two young boys.
The boys, both 5 years old, were playing in the reservoir when one reportedly went under. The other boy began to drown himself while attempting to save his friend.
“We were about knee-high deep in the water when we heard a woman screaming in panic and running into the water,” Steadman said.
When the men saw two bodies floating in the water, Bertram immediately made moves to bring the boys to the shore where Steadman was waiting, ready to perform the life-saving technique he teaches to nearly 150 people each year.
Troy Steadman has been an Authorized Provider of Red Cross health and safety courses with the Bureau of Reclamation for four years, where he teaches Red Cross CPR classes. He emphasizes the importance of his own Red Cross CPR training in his ability to save the boys’ lives. Although not all other certification classes teach respiration in conjunction with chest compressions, the Red Cross certification courses do include respiration, and Steadman is confident it was the artificial respiration that successfully saved the boys’ lives.
“With each breath, water came out of each boy’s mouth.” Steadman said.
Rich Mandevill, an airline pilot and officer of the Air Force Academy, was the third respondent to the situation and was able to resuscitate one boy while Steadman worked on the other. All three men were presented with Life Saving Medals by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office on October 1, 2013.
It was the first time he had used his CPR knowledge in a real-life situation, Steadman said, “and it will probably — hopefully —be the last time [he’ll] have to use it.”