Stick another feather in the cap of Alton L. Thygerson, Deseret News safety columnist and professor of health science at Brigham Young University.
Thygerson is the technical consultant for the National Safety Council's new "First Aid Handbook," which has just had an initial printing of 100,000 copies. In addition to nationwide sales, he said, he recently heard that the book will be part of a CD-ROM package distributed to purchasers of Apple computer systems.Most authors would be uncontrollably ecstatic about a printing of 100,000 - but it's really not that surprising to Thygerson.
"I've got about 30 books to my name, and 800 Deseret News columns, about 100 professional articles," he said in a telephone interview. "So I've done a lot of writing."
For years, some of his earlier books have been used in colleges and training academies to teach safety and first aid. The new volume is different in that it appeals to the general public.
According to Thygerson, among the new book's unique features are:
- "Full-color photographs of the actual injuries," he said. Someone who has never before seen a broken limb, Lyme disease rash, chemical burn, dog bite or brown recluse spider bite can find vivid photos of these immediately.
- Flow charts that help in a quick review about what to do in any emergency. Charts can be consulted even during the emergency, he said.
- Prominent directions about what to do and what not to do while giving first aid.
The book is endorsed by William Shatner, host of the TV series "Rescue 911."
Thygerson became interested in the subject while a Boy Scout, when he earned a first aid merit badge. Also, when he was growing up in Texas his father worked for Phillips Petroleum. His father would take courses in first aid at work.
"My dad would bring first aid booklets home from the office," he said. "I still have them."
Fascinated by the subject, he learned more about first aid and safety. In California, Thygerson taught in a high school.
"Being a health teacher, I taught first aid," he recalled. After that he took a teaching assignment at a community college in California, teaching first aid and health.
After he moved to Utah, he took emergency medical technician training and became an EMT. It was natural that he would write about a field in which he had acquired so much expertise.
The official release date for the "National Safety Council First Aid Handbook" is April 15, but the book is already on sale at several Utah outlets and elsewhere.
"I know my niece in Virginia called and said she saw it," he said.