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Wounded Giffords Aide Returns to Work

Pamela Simon, a community outreach coordinator for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, returned to work this week in the Tucson district office after being shot twice during the January attack on the Arizona Democrat.

“I am thrilled to be back in the office working with my close friends and helping the people of Southern Arizona,” Simon said in a statement. “It is an honor to work for Congresswoman Giffords and I look forward to the day when she is also able to return to work.”

Giffords remains in the hospital after being shot in the head Jan. 8. Simon was shot in the chest and in the wrist and was hospitalized for several days.

A schoolteacher for more than 20 years, Simon joined Giffords’ staff in 2007 and works on issues relating to schools, veterans and the military, seniors, and faith-based groups.

In honor of the injured Congresswoman, Giffords’ employees sent a letter to Members and staff Wednesday encouraging them to attend an event on the Hill next month that will train them in first aid and CPR.

The Arizona Democrat is alive and recovering in part because Daniel Hernandez, an intern in her Tucson office, used his first aid training to tend to Giffords’ wound, her staff wrote in the letter.

“Many of you have asked us what you can do in the aftermath of January 8, 2011, to honor the victims of the tragic shooting and prevent future senseless loss of life,” the letter said. “We urge you to get prepared by receiving first aid and hands-only CPR training that you could use to one day save a life in an emergency, just like Daniel Hernandez did for our boss, Congresswoman Giffords.”

The staffers are touting the American Red Cross-sponsored “Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save a Life Saturday” on March 19, which will train people nationwide in first aid.

A staff briefing on March 7 in the Rayburn House Office Building will inform attendees how to participate. Trainings for Members and staff will be held all day March 16 in the Cannon Caucus Room.

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