Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Save a Life

This week, I had an opportunity, as part of my new job, to be trained in CPR, and learn how to use an automated external dibifillator, or AED.  I hope to goodness I never have to use these skills, but I am thankful I have them.

I have been trained in CPR before, once as part of a CPR/First Aid class in college, and once as part of previous employment training.  I have not held certification in over 10 years (wow, I am old.).  One of the things I loved about the training I had this week was how "home town" it was.  The training was held in a local fire station, and pretty much everyone in the class knew everyone else, except me, I only knew my coworkers.  They talked about things going on in their towns, babies being born, the upcoming fair, it was all so personal.

And because it was so personal, I think everyone took the class really seriously.  Because if we had to use these skills, it most likely would not be on a stranger.  It would be on a friend, a neighbor, or a loved one.  When we got to infant CPR, the instructor talked so frankly about how scary it is to use these skills on a baby, and how upset we would probably get if ever we were in that situation.

Because many of the people in the class were part of the medical and emergency community, I feel like I learned things about CPR that I never knew, like why it is so important to make sure the compressions are deep enough, and why you wait for the chest to completely recoil.  I feel so prepared to use these skills, I just pray I never need to.

It makes me so thankful for the emergency services here in my town, and everywhere.