The last time I had formal CPR training was (er..) let’s just say it was a long time ago (during my Army combat medic training). Like, more than twenty years!
So for the Fire Academy CPR training (that’s me at left in the photo!), I was expecting some things to have changed and updated… and I expected to be pretty rusty.
To my pleasant surprise, I had retained the crucial skills. (A not-as-impressive surprise: the manikins haven’t changed either!) To use an overused phrase: it was ‘like getting back on a bike.’ I guess that’s a testament to my training all those years ago!
Of course, one thing we didn’t have back then is the AED (Automated External Defibrillator), which is very simple to use. You’ve probably seen them at work or at shopping malls, etc, or even been trained how to use them. This nifty device is a very welcome compliment to EMS care.
The other change that got me thinking is the fact that EMS providers are heavily discouraged from ever putting our mouth directly on a patient (when I first learned CPR there wasn’t even a mention of this).
Firefighters and other EMS providers now use a pocket mask (left) to provide rescue breaths. There’s also this thing called a barrier device (below) that I never knew existed.
Now I plan to carry a barrier device with me at all times (even when I’m not ‘on duty’) so that I’ll never have to make that tough decision to hold off helping someone in need in order to protect myself!