Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Aid and CPR Training

One of the most important training programs we offer at the Kinsley Education Center is Red Cross First Aid and CPR. First Aid and CPR courses are designed to train our employees to act confidently in emergency situations and to recognize and care for life threatening injuries, illnesses and cardiac emergencies. By providing these life-saving skills and knowledge we not only enhance safety in our workplaces, but in our homes and communities as well.

The American Red Cross updated their programs in 2011 and released several new guidelines they call the Next Generation of Red Cross training. The skills and course content have not changed too significantly, however the courses are shorter and more interactive than past courses. The lessons have updated video segments as well as PowerPoint-style discussion points and review questions to more actively engage the class participants. Feedback has been very positive on the new courses.

One of the changes we are instituting this year is certification in the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for all participants. The widespread availability and use of AEDs has been one of the biggest advances in emergency cardiovascular care in the last several decades. Combined with CPR, the use of AEDs greatly increases the chances for victims of cardiac arrest. As the presence of AEDs continues to grow in public buildings and workplaces, this training will be invaluable.

One of the more significant changes to the Red Cross guidelines is the length of certification. In the past, first aid certification lasted three years and CPR certification lasted one year. Certification for both now lasts two years. Classes are quicker too. Full certification used to take nearly seven hours to complete. With the new guidelines we can complete a class in a little over four hours, even with the addition of the AED component.

With shorter course length and longer certification periods, we are able to combine Red Cross training with some of our regularly scheduled annual safety training. This allows us to reduce training costs, and at the same time train hundreds of additional employees. Definitely a win-win situation – costs are lowered, training is more convenient to employees, and we nearly double the number of employees trained in these life saving skills.

Red Cross training is the type of training you hope to never have to use. However, emergencies can happen at any time, in any place. By equipping our employees with the skills and knowledge to take action when an emergency does arise, we might not only help save a life, but touch many more lives in the process.

Article by William McCaffrey, CSP