Last week it was business as usual at the lighthouse as we had a beautiful day and many visitors thankful that the tide was out. I was giving my talk to the folks in the living room after sending the previous group up to the second floor to see Sally. Of our two volunteers, Fran Razmus, was taking care of the gift shop and her husband John was in the lantern room. Everything was going well when John got on the walkie-talkie and announced andquot;Man down in the tower!andquot;

About the same time Sally came running down stairs and said a man had lost consciousness. I told her to call 911. I kept the tour group on the main floor and answered questions and tried to make them feel that everything would be all right.

Del Norte's finest arrive

Within minutes it seemed like every emergency paramedic and fire fighter in the county was racing up the spiral staircase to lend aid to our distressed visitor. Not knowing the exact emergency they came prepared with medical equipment, oxygen, a litter and everything short of a rowboat.

I was surprised at how quickly so many emergency personnel had arrived. Of course all the emergency activity brought many others to the lighthouse concerned about was going on. As it turned out the emergency crews had been training nearby and were able to get to our emergency in record time. They were well-organized, efficient and before long they were walking our distressed visitor out the front door to a jeep that they had driven up on the island.

Thank you

I would like to give a hearty pat on the back to all those who involve themselves in our rescue, medical emergencies and our ultimate safety. They train for every possible situation and spend a lot of time searching for the lost, pulling us out of traffic accidents and even show up in the middle of the night when we are having chest pains. When we break, they fix us; when we are lost, they find us and when we are unable to help ourselves, they selflessly are there to help. In today's world we need these folks more than ever.

When we first interviewed for the lightkeeper positions one of the questions that we had was how did they deal with medical emergencies. After all, getting to Battery Point is not always easy. Now that we have seen these quality emergency people in action we are not worried; we know that we are in good hands, as are our visitors. Sally and I have decided that we should look into getting CPR certified. After all, you just never know when someone will need you.

Randy Ansley, the Battery Point Lighthouse keeper, can be reached at