In June, there were two incidents that could have ended tragically. In California, an 80-year old man collapsed and stopped breathing. A pool service technician was at the scene. He performed CPR until a police officer arrived. The officer had a defibrillator which he used to kick start the man’s heart and bring him back to consciousness. In Florida, a service technician happened to be in the right place at the right time. He spotted a little girl flailing her arms in a pond and pulled the 5-year old out using a pole. She wasn’t breathing, but after a series of chest compressions she began breathing and recovered.
Although both stories have a happy ending, it isn’t because the techs knew cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In both cases a 911 dispatcher instructed the rescuers on how to perform basic first aid. With few knowing what to do in these urgent situations, they panic. Because the minutes between losing consciousness and death are very few, having a handle on the basics—such as knowing how to use a reaching assist or flotation device or perform CPR—can make all the difference.
With so many cases involving service technicians and the crossover between the lifeguarding and service departments at pool management firms, the infrastructure is in place for all employees to receive training. While independent contractors must take this into their own hands, professional associations are already working on getting all of their employees educated on what to do in a life threatening situation. Knowledge is power and there are many resources out there to become CPR certified and receive the basic skills and knowledge needed for basic first aid. The courses offered by the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross for CPR certification last only 4 hours, for knowledge that can save many, many lives. Act now, and help save lives today.