Sisters is blessed with top-notch first responders who can roll out on a variety of emergencies quickly, with the right tools for the job and a high level of professional skill.

But they'll be the first to tell you that when an emergency strikes, they are at best minutes away.

Last month, a Sisters resident saved the life of another Sisters man in cardiac arrest through the quick application of citizen or bystander CPR. He knew what had to be done and he knew how to do it - though he'd never done it before. And he acted.

In recent years, there has been a tendency to outsource the maintenance of our safety to professionals - police, fire and paramedics, public works. In some jurisdictions, civilians are actively discouraged from acting in an emergency, other than calling 911, and personal preparation for disasters is regarded in some circles as a sign of paranoia.

Fortunately, the pendulum is swinging back again. We could do worse than to all of us adopt the old Boy Scout Ethic: "Be Prepared."

"Normalcy bias" leads us to think that things will always bump along as they usually do. But sometimes they don't and it pays to be ready. The intricate web of utilities and services upon which we depend is far more fragile than we like to think it is. A natural disaster - even on the order of the winter of 2016-17 - can leave people vulnerable. When the power goes out and the trucks that supply the grocery store can't get through, it pays to have emergency supplies and a plan.

Be Prepared.

When a friend or a loved one collapses in cardiac arrest, know what to do to save their life.

Be Prepared.

Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District is offering classes in CPR and First Aid. There's a CPR class set for March 17 and a First Aid class on March 18. A few hours of our time learning from professionals could save a life, someone dear to us. Maybe we should all get some training, gear up for emergencies and make a plan. Sisters will be a better place for it, and we will be better, more resilient ourselves.

Be Prepared.

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief