Being a pizza delivery guy isn't easy. You have to be ready for anything and everything. Fortunately, 19-year-old University of Colorado student Anson Lemmer was prepared to deliver life-saving CPR while delivering pies last week.
After seeing a collapsed man turning blue on his last delivery, Lemmer -- who has worked for Uncle Pizza in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, since mid-May -- jumped into action. His first-aid knowledge kept the man stable until EMTs arrived. Afterwards he took home a tip and a whole lot of hero street cred (and now has a college tuition GoFundMe set up).
MTV News caught up with Lemmer to talk about that heroic night, and what his experience has been like going from a "pizza boy" to a "pizza man."
MTV: What went through your head when you saw the man collapsed outside his house?
Anson Lemmer: Not a lot, surprisingly. I registered the situation and immediately jumped into a kind of "disaster mode." He needed help -- help that I knew how to give -- and that is all that was on my mind at the scene.
MTV: Have you always been good in high-pressure situations?
Lemmer: I think so. I have been in a similar situation once before, and my reaction was pretty much the same. If there is something where help is needed immediately, I tune everything else out and focus only on what needs to be done. Adrenaline helps, I think.
MTV: There was another situation like this?!
Lemmer: Me and two close friends were out in the woods in Owatanna, Minnesota. It was getting really dark and my phone was about to die, but we were doing OK trying to find our way through the woods. Then my friend started to choke on a piece of Jolly Rancher candy that he was eating. He started croaking and it was bad -- he wasn't breathing easily -- so I threw my backpack down and did the Heimlich until he coughed it up. ... And right after [that] he had another candy. We had a good laugh later.
MTV: When did you learn CPR?
Lemmer: I took a Red Cross course for babysitting when I was 11 or 12, and from that I was certified. I've also had practice in health classes throughout high school. I don't think it is the kind of training that is easily forgotten, especially not after it is actually put into practice.
MTV: What's your experience been like with the viral media attention?
Lemmer: To me, that has been the most bizarre part. I'm happy people are interested in this story because it is positive, but I never anticipated this kind of attention. It's nice, though. While we were outside of Uncle's, a UPS guy drove by and yelled out of his truck, "Hey! You're the kid who saved that guy's life!" and gave me a big thumbs up.
MTV: What are your plans for the future? Any thoughts on becoming an EMT/pizza guy?
Lemmer: [Laughs] I have considered a career as an EMT in the past, but I think writing is where I belong. I'm a storyteller at heart, and I draw a lot of inspiration from the variability I find in my life. Every moment is a new story.
MTV: What did you mean when you said you went from being a "pizza boy" to "pizza man"?
Lemmer: That was something my brother and I joked about after I told him the story. I was like, "I left the store a pizza boy and showed up as a first responder," and that was his rebuttal: "You left a pizza boy and returned ... a PIZZA MAN!"
We were joking as if I was some kind of vigilante, like I should start delivering pizzas in a Pizza Man jumpsuit with a cape or something. It was real cheesy, but it makes a good headline. The transformation from pizza boy to pizza man took only a moment. I arrived at the scene and my pizza senses started tingling.