Snowmass paramedic, fire captain Scott Arthur to retire from district after 28 years
Scott Arthur spent his first few hours as a paramedic performing CPR and helping save the life of a patient suffering cardiac arrest.
That same evening — still day one on the job — the 19-year-old was called to remove the bodies of two dead children from a vehicle.
By the end of a day of severe highs and lows, the longtime Snowmass Village resident and paramedic “had fallen in love” with the field.
“It was just exhilarating. You know, you’re 19 years old and someone who literally was dead is now alive because of something that you did,” Arthur said. “That kind of carried me through the pain of seeing two dead children, and realizing that that’s as good as it gets and that’s as bad as it gets. … I know the rest of my career is going to fall somewhere between these two points.”
Arthur will retire today from his role as captain and medical coordinator at the Snowmass fire district, where he’s helped protect the community for nearly 30 years. The Snowmass fire department, now called the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority in conjunction with Basalt Fire, will host a ceremony this evening to honor Arthur.
Originally from Pasadena, California, Arthur and his wife, Nell, moved to Snowmass Village by way of Denver in February 1991.
Arthur joined the Snowmass fire district as its second full-time paid paramedic, and Nell scored a job with Pitkin County.
“The whole idea of a mountain lifestyle appealed to us,” Arthur said, having both grown up in cities.
A series of “serendipitous” events led he and Nelly not only to move to the village, but also to stay here.
Amid a depressed housing market in the 90s, Arthur said, they managed to buy a condominium at Seasons Four, where they still call home today.
In 2001, with a newly adopted baby girl from China at home, Arthur was diagnosed with a form of leukemia.
Despite it being an incredibly difficult time, Arthur said that watching the community rally behind and support their family was nothing short of inspirational.
“The whole town, and not just Snowmass Village, but Aspen, the whole Roaring Fork Valley pulled together for my wife and I,” he said. “It was just an amazing experience.”
Among Arthur’s many assets to the district, “his ability to teach” truly stands out, fire marshal John Mele said.
“He has a really strong ability to relate to and encourage younger EMTs,” said Mele, who worked with Arthur throughout his 28-year-career in Snowmass.
One of those EMTs was Jason Hutter, who is now a battalion chief for the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue.
“One of the big things I’ve taken from (Arthur) over the year is how calm he is, no matter what’s going on,” said Hutter, who joined the district 24 years ago.
Remaining as calm as possible is critical in emergency situations, he explained, because it enables clearer thinking and decision-making.
“Seeing that with (Arthur) early on in my career really helped me and helped mold who I am today,” Hutter said.
He described Arthur as a man of integrity, a mentor and “somebody you can count on.”
Capt. Arthur “has touched (the lives of) a lot of individuals,” added fire chief Scott Thompson, who’s also worked with Arthur for a number of years. “He’s going to be missed by the department.”
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