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Training can help save a life

Posted 4/6/2012   Updated 4/6/2012 Email story   Print story


by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs

4/6/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- People learned important lifesaving skills, including CPR, basic first aid and automated external defibrillator operation, or AED, at training hosted by the 42nd Force Support Squadron Saturday at the Maxwell Event Center.

The course, offered once every six months, consists of an instruction period at the beginning of the day, four written tests and a physical skills test, according to Josh Hale, a recreational aide at the fitness center and first aid instructor.

"The course teaches people what they should do during the most common emergencies like a heart attack or choking," he said. "Once they finish and pass the course, they are certified by the American Red Cross."

Hale said the skills they teach at this course are important for everyone, not just health care professionals.

"You never know when you're going to need the skills," Hale said. "Working at the fitness center, I've seen numerous heart attacks and other emergencies where having these skills have saved someone's life."

Melanie Gess, the other instructor for the course, agreed the skills are critical.

"You never know what type of situation you are going to be put in. If you're a parent or a teacher or an employee on base, there's a good chance you'll be put in a situation where you have to use CPR, first aid or an AED," she said. "You always want to be prepared because it could save someone's life."

Course participants learned a lot in one day. Carmen Blau, a military spouse, was impressed by the knowledge of the instructors and the amount of information she learned.

"I can use this knowledge to save somebody's life," Blau said."It's so important to know how to handle an emergency."

Martha Clapp, a nursing student, said she thinks the course will give her a head start with her studies. "These skills are the difference between life and death," she said.
Anyone interested in participating in a future course can contact Rachel Mathis at 953-8241.

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