Training Saves Lives
June 2, 2023
By Mitch Steinhorn

The concept of Pikuach Nefesh is a simple concept: saving a human life is more important than any of the commandments (mitzvot) listed in the Torah.  Leviticus 19:16 is clear when it states, “Neither shall you stand by the blood of your neighbor.”

But you must have the training to know how to save a life.

On January 2nd of this year, many of us watched in shock as Buffalo Bill Damar Hamlin collapsed of cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Fortunately, trained personnel performed Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and brought him back to life, so he could be rushed to a hospital for further treatment.

That type of training may be the most important I’ve ever received.  During my 28-year career as a volunteer fireman and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), I’ve performed CPR on hundreds of people.  But one case stands out.

My crew just returned to the station when a call came about an unresponsive male lying on the floor of his home.  Luckily, we were around the corner from the man’s home and it only took my partner and I two minutes to get there.

The man had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.  I immediately began CPR while my partner began ventilating his airway.  Paramedics arrived a couple minutes later with a defibrillator and we shocked the patient’s heart two or three times.  We finally got a heartbeat in normal rhythm.  The ambulance came and I rode with him to the hospital.  Without performing CPR on him until the defibrillator arrived, the man probably wouldn’t have survived.

The importance of CPR training is why Amherst Memorial Chapel and the Buffalo Jewish Federation are collaborating with the American Heart Association to offer the 3 For Heart CPR Challenge.

This one-hour class and CPR training will be held on Monday, June 26th at 6:00 PM at Amherst Memorial Chapel 281 Dodge Road in Amherst. 

Please join me in learning this wonderful life saving mitzvah opportunity. The class is FREE, but attendance is limited, so anyone wishing to attend must register. Please e-mail me at if you’re interested.  Donations to the American Heart Association are suggested. 

Mitch Steinhorn is a volunteer fireman, EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and the owner of Amherst Memorial Chapel.

Training Saves Lives - Jewish Thought of the week 2022
Training Saves Lives - Amherst Memorial CPR Class scaled