CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, May 13, 2015 —
Several months ago, DLA Distribution Corpus Christi, Texas, determined there was a need to enhance its Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, program. With the goal of training all willing employees to be able to respond to the vast majority of medical incidents, both at work or at home, the organization had its safety specialists officially certified to pass lifesaving skills onto others.
When a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest their chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent for each minute that passes without defibrillation. While cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, can double or triple a victim's chances, when coupled with an AED, those chances are greatly strengthened. AEDs can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
Many within the organization believe that training employees to deploy the AED and provide initial medical attention necessary after an incident could potentially save lives. “I believe this training is valuable and everyone should take it. Not only [could] it help co-workers, but it will also benefit family members and friends,” said DLA Distribution employee Reginald Evans.
In the past, management enabled any employee who desired to become certified in first aid CPR and AEDs to do so. Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Fire Department personnel conducted periodic classes and certified DLA Distribution Corpus Christi employees to use AEDs and administer CPR. However, the number of Distribution employees wishing to be certified far out-weighed the fire department’s training capacity.
As a result, DLA Distribution Corpus Christi leadership decided to have both of its DLA Distribution Corpus Christi safety specialists certified as first aid CPR and AED instructors. The certifications include adult CPR and AED, bloodborne pathogens, infant and child CPR and AED, and oxygen first aid for emergencies. The organization is now completely self-contained with regards to first aid CPR and AED training.
The duo’s inaugural course was conducted in early April, and was, by all accounts, very successful. Class attendee Bryan Miller explained, “I wanted to become certified because I felt clueless as to how to respond in an emergency. Now I know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.”
Samantha Bailey, a DLA Distribution Corpus Christi employee and recent class graduate agreed, stating, “I feel more confident in my ability to respond to a medical emergency whether at work or outside of work.”
The safety staff will continue to conduct training courses every quarter until every willing employee has been certified. Future plans include expanding training coverage to include the other local DLA agencies, such as DLA Aviation and DLA Disposition Services.