Isaac Rios: Members make a difference

Read how one of our members saved a life by using the public safety training provided by AMERIND.


  • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians, Point Arena, Calif.
  • Husband, father and grandfather
  • Employed in maintenance by the Manchester Band Housing Department, part of the Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority

Taking care of his people is a high priority for Isaac Rios, volunteer fire fighter and member of the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians, Point Arena, California.

First aid, CPR and other available courses – Rios has been a dedicated participant in the public safety training offered by AMERIND. Then one day his work schedule put him in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to save the life of a small child.

Rios was siding a home when he heard a woman yelling for help with her toddler. He quickly observed that the child wasn’t breathing and her face had turned blue. Relying on his safety training, Rios grabbed the child, applied
three firm slaps to the back and dislodged the object. With her airway cleared, the toddler began to cry – a sure sign she was once again taking deep breaths. After observing the toddler for a short time, Rios handed her back to her mother and went back to work.

This experience provided Rios a prime example of the importance of proper emergency response vehicles and training for members of the Manchester Rancheria. The Tribe currently depends upon a mutual aid agreement with
local police and fire agencies, and long response times sometimes occur. With a forest on the east end of Tribal lands, Rios also worries about the Tribe’s ability to protect community members and their homes from fires.

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