Life-saving Liby

By Jackson Welsh
Abilene Reflector Chronicle – June 26, 2018

Colten Liby was a volunteer firefighter before going off to college.

Imagine a close friend was suffocating on a piece of food, struggling to swallow, speak, or even breathe. Imagine a woman was collapsed in the middle of the road, alone and injured. Would you know what to do?

These are both real world occurrences Colten Liby has experienced throughout his college years. He recently received an associate’s degree from Hutchinson Community College in fire science, and his emergency response skills have been put to use there.

Liby has received a large amount of emergency training beyond his degree.

He first began his CPR training as a boy scout in sixth grade, and then became Red Cross certified as a lifeguard in his sophomore year of high school. In college, he continued this training through Emergency Medical Technician classes. This knowledge helped him greatly in the two incidents described below.

Hit and run

During Liby’s third semester of college, he intervened in a hit and run incident on Plum St. in Hutchinson.

“I was driving down from my college dorm and I saw a lady in the middle of the crosswalk in the fetal position,” Liby said.

The first person on the scene, Liby pulled over to help the woman. He asked her if she was all right and called 911 immediately. He stayed with the woman until emergency services arrived. Liby made sure the woman wasn’t moved in case she had internal injuries.

The woman ended up without any serious injuries, but Liby appreciated the chance to see the response team in action since he aspires to be a firefighter.

“I just looked at what they were doing and learned,” he said.

The Heimlich maneuver

Another incident occurred not much longer when Liby put his CPR knowledge to use once again.

“I was eating dinner with six friends. We were eating chicken, and my friend (the potential choker) bumped me on the shoulder and put his hands on his throat,” Liby recalled.

He quickly put his arms around his friend and thrust upwards, causing his friend to spit out the food. This is known as the Heimlich maneuver.

Liby, the son of Mike and Denise Liby of Abilene, will be joining the Ellis County Fire Department in Hays which is a paying on call fire department.

This will be his next step as he continues to stay responsive and aid those around him.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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