Red Cross honors Glenwood’s pizza man
Anson Lemmer, Glenwood Springs’ most famous pizza delivery man, is an official lifesaver.
Eric Myers, executive director of the American Red Cross of Western Colorado, on Friday awarded Lemmer the organization’s Lifesaver Award in a ceremony at Uncle Pizza in Glenwood Springs.
Lemmer was on his last delivery of the night on June 15 when he noticed a man in danger — turning blue, as he described it the next week. He performed CPR until the Glenwood Springs Fire Department emergency medical technicians arrived. The man left the hospital later that night.
Lemmer, describing the incident, told the Post Independent, “I left a pizza boy and came back a pizza man,” which gave the story a couple days of international circulation, rising to the No. 1 spot on Reddit, a website where users share stories and vote to boost their prominence.
Myers said it was just the fifth time in five years he’s presented a Lifesaver Award.
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“One of my favorite things to do is see compassion turn to action. It’s my honor to be here to recognize you,” Myers told Lemmer. “To be able to come upon someone when you’re setting out to deliver a pizza and recall some training you’ve received before you were a teenager is incredible.”
Anson learned CPR through the Red Cross baby-sitting program when he was 12. Myers said it’s not uncommon to see a long lag between the time someone learns CPR and when that person puts it into action.
“We encourage people to stay current, but the skills you’ve learned can be used later,” Myers said.
Anson’s father, Mike, and his brother, Avery, 10, were also on hand for the presentation.
Mike Lemmer said the whole thing has been pretty neat, especially since he was the one who enrolled Anson in that baby-sitting program.
Mike hoped his son would never have to use it, but said it was great that it stuck with him.
“That’s the part I’m most proud of, that he reacted under pressure,” Mike said. “It was nice to see good news like that go viral for a change.”
As for Anson, after receiving the award and posing for photos, the recognition is still hard to believe.
“Thank you all for supporting everything,” Anson said. “It’s been a heck of a ride.”
When asked what sets people who act apart from those who don’t, Anson said, “focus, maybe.”
“I wasn’t caught up in the situation. There wasn’t really time for hesitation,” he said. “The training was a big part, it sets the foundation, ‘I know how to do this,’ but the next part is, ‘I can do this.’”
Myers asked Anson if he remembered anything else from the baby-sitting program aside from the training.
“I remember playing Game Boy a lot,” he said.
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