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Our customers spoke, and we listened. 

One of the most common requests on our Evaluation forms is to ask us to shorten our classes. Yes, the Red Cross allows us to modify the length of our classes and we are more than willing to do that but, what we will not do is compromise the quality of the education that our students receive. So, we went back to the drawing board and created the Everyone’s Busy Program (EBP). Here’s how it works:

     Choose a class from the list below. We then create a pathway that     combines an online portion with a review-skills evaluation class. You complete the first part ON YOUR SCHEDULE and then we find the best time for you to show us what you have learned. 

Same certification, less cost, and more flexible! 

As you can see, we design our classes to be personalized experiences that reflect the needs of our students which is what makes us different. Our goal is to bring “real life” into the classroom experience, rather than those “just-pay-and-then-you-are-certified” programs. We know that the ability to really save lives relies on three things:

  • Knowing WHAT to do
  • WHEN to do it and,
  • Why it needs to be YOU!

Emergencies in the Workplace

During a conversation last week with a woman from one of our local companies, I asked her if she had ever taken a first aid or CPR class. She said that she had earned the First Aid badge as a Brownie but, hadn’t attended any classes since then. As this was a casual meeting, she didn’t know that I taught these subjects so, I went out on a limb and asked her if she knew of anyone in her workplace who had been hurt. She thought a moment and then said that yes, last year, one of the managers had a heart attack in the break room and died. After telling her that I was sorry to hear that, I asked her if anyone had helped him and she said that someone had called 911, and a few other people asked about the AED. As it turns out, because her company was small, and they were all office workers, they “didn’t think they needed one.”

Fortunately, these types of stories are now less common than they were just five years ago. Thanks to the official action like the Federal Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2000, that made it mandatory to have an AED in every Federal building, and the subsequent passage of laws in every State that addressed issues such as AEDs in public spaces, an expansion of the Good Samaritan protections, and the requirements to have trained responders in certain workplaces, the number of deaths due to cardiac arrest has declined. 

As I think about safety in our workplaces, what strikes me as the single most significant issue is how employers create an environment in which their employees feel valuable. Hiring (and firing), employees is an expensive proposition and turnover is not just a problem in the fast-food industry. First Aid kits AEDs, and offering training are more than just ways to lower liability premiums - they are expressions of value.



A New Service

As we continue to talk to different churches, schools, and other organizations about teaching classes, some of the most common questions we hear realte to AEDs. As these are sophisticated electronic devices that allow us to save lives by providing an electrical shock to someone with a potentially fatal dysrhythmia, the reliability and performance of these seemingly-simple machines must be maintened at a very high level.

Here is an article that speaks to this: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2014/06/01/Is-Your-AED-Ready-to-Shock.aspx?Page=1    

As you can see, a simple “install and forget” plan can create many challenges. During the last few weeks, we have examined several military, municipal, and private industry policies and in nearly every case, it wasn’t that a safety plan hadn't been developed, rather it was the fact that even though the AEDs had been installed correctly, they had not been inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Addiotnally, even though AEDs are designed so that nearly everyone can use them, proper training in how to recognize a cardic emergency is still essential. I can think of few more disastrous events than the inabiltiy of a fully-trained first responder to save someone’s life becasue of a dead battery. 

In 2000, Congress passed a law to address the challenge of providing early defbrrillation to indviduals experinceing cardiac arrest. Although this legislation containced a provision to extend the protection of the Good Samritan doctrine to anyone who pruchases or uses and AED, this protection only applies to those devices that are, “properly tested and maintained.” So, why do so many business owners beleive that just pushing a “test” button every will satisfy this requirement? Is it some sort of “hope plan?”  Is it because they felt that a manufacturer’s warranty was enough to help them avoid litigation? 

Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. In 2014, a lawsuit was files agianst a health club in New York alleging that the club, “failed to comply with certain provisions of New York’s AED laws with the most obvious being the requirement that AED owners “cause the automated external defibrillator to be maintained and tested according to applicable standards of the manufacturer and any appropriate government agency.” (http://www.sca-aware.org/blog/scafoundation/lawsuit-claims-two-non-working-health-club-aeds-led-to-member%E2%80%99s-sudden-cardiac-de).

So, what’s the takeaway here - three things:

1. Only buy AED systems from reputable manufacturer’s and authorized sellers

2. Design and implement an inspection and maintenance program that meets all applicable laws and regulations

3. Ensure that individuals within your organization are trained to recognize cardiac emergencies and know the location and proper use of the AEDs that you own.

Questions, Questions, Questions!

I understand that this “emergency medicine stuff” is complicated and one of the most important part of my classes is where I answer questions from my students. Perhaps one of the most common questions is: what happens if I see somebody having a heart attack and try to help and they still die - will I get sued? This is a great question and one that applies to many situations that all of us encounter out there in our “dangerous world.” 

So, you are driving down the street when the car in front of you veers off the road and hits a tree - what do you do? Will you get sued if you try to help and instead end up hurting the person?  The answer is generally, “no."

Here in North Carolina, General Statute 20-166, (d), states: "Any person who renders first aid or emergency assistance at the scene of a motor vehicle crash on any street or highway to any person injured as a result of the accident, shall not be liable in civil damages for any acts or omissions relating to the services rendered, unless the acts or omissions amount to wanton conduct or intentional wrongdoing." 

In my emergency medical care classes, I teach the Rule of Three: 1 - Contact EMS as soon as possible, 2 - Be safe and, 3 - only act within the limits of your training. Does this mean you will never face legal action? Unfortunately, no. In our modern world where it seems as though everyone wants a “big payday” (without having to work for it), you could face a lawsuit for not cleaning up after your dog. Knowing that doing something is almost always better than doing nothing, I advise my students to follow the Rule of Three and act accordingly.