The Need to Learn First Aid & CPR

July 30, 2013

I never wanted to be a nurse. It’s just not my thing. Don’t get me wrong. I am awed by what they do and so thankful for their dedication and skill. They have been a life-saver for me over the years and helped with questions and concerns for my own children as well as those I cared for professionally. What I am however, is a certified instructor in First Aid & CPR for the American Red Cross, and I love this part of my job. I teach skill sets that everyday people can use in an emergency.
So, I am always happy to hear from staff when they share how knowing these skills has made a difference in a real-life emergency. Just this month, two staff made such a difference. One, a teacher at Latham School, saw a child choking and knew what to do.  She used her training and successfully helped the student breathe. Our own admissions assistant told me about her weekend experience of helping a passenger on a boat with a head injury. She followed the Emergency Action Steps (CHECK – CALL – CARE), applied direct pressure and had an ambulance waiting at the dock for the boat as it arrived. Two, “non-medical” citizens, possibly saving lives. 

I encourage all parents and care-givers to enroll in courses offered in First Aid and CPR.  Your community fire department, local chapter of the American Red Cross or American Heart Association, adult education programs, etc., probably run classes in your area. Are you the parent or care-giver of a person with additional challenges? Does low muscle tone, balance, swallowing, chewing, poor vision or communication pose additional risk? Get this life-saving training. It’s your neighbor, your friend, your parent, your child who may need help. Maybe it is a stranger and you could just be the right person, in the right place, at the right time as so many in Boston were on that fateful day in April of this year. I know, I know, we are all too busy to add one more task to our  to -do list. But, what if this was you or your loved one needing help?  To borrow that famous tag-line (from NIKE) JUST DO IT!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

“Courage is grace under pressure.” 
~Ernest Hemingway
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