FRCE Enhances Emergency Preparedness with training in CPR, AED and First Aid
When it comes to providing first aid and initial care during an emergency, seconds count. The amount of time it takes to begin care can mean the difference between life and death.
A training program at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE) aims to equip its workforce with the skills and training to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies. The depot is providing its personnel with lifesaving knowledge and skills in the form of training in first aid, CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
“Protecting our employees and keeping them safe is our top priority at the depot,” said FRCE Commanding Officer Capt. James M. Belmont. “A key part of that is ensuring our people are trained to properly respond to emergencies that could occur on the work floor. With each employee who becomes competent in these skills, we become a safer, more prepared workplace.”
According to Thomas Hand, a supervisory training specialist at FRCE, the depot is offering a number of these classes throughout the upcoming year. While the training is mandatory for some FRCE employees, Hand said the depot’s goal is to provide this training throughout the work force.
“This class is a requirement for electrical workers and others whose work involves potential shock hazards,” said Hand. “But we’ve also made sure there are plenty of available seats and classes for other FRCE employees who are interested. We highly encourage people to sign up. Leadership here wants to see as many people as possible get certified.”
Rachel Surovy, a certified instructor brought in to teach the course, said the class prepares students for a wide range of emergencies that someone could encounter in the workplace.
“It’s pretty comprehensive,” said Surovy. “We cover strokes, heart attacks, bleeds, poisoning, heat and cold emergencies, seizures and everything else in between. We want them to be fully prepared for any sort of emergency that may happen. They learn CPR and how to use an AED. The goal is to give them the knowledge and skills to enable them to save life and sustain someone until (emergency medical services) gets there.”
CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when cardiac arrest occurs, which is when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly.
AEDs are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. These devices automatically analyze the heart rhythm and will deliver an electrical shock if one is needed.
Surovy cited CPR and early defibrillation with an AED as crucial survival factors in the first few minutes following a collapse from sudden cardiac arrest.
“For every minute inside of cardiac arrest without an AED, someone’s chance of survival drops 10%,” said Surovy. “Once you hit 10 minutes inside of cardiac arrest without any AED, care or CPR – that person's chance of survival is pretty slim.”
The class complements FRCE’s focus on ensuring that AEDs and first aid kits are readily available throughout its facilities. In the last year, FRCE’s Safety and Occupational Health Division deployed more than 80 new AEDs to FRCE sites at Marine Corps Air Stations Cherry Point, New River and Beaufort, and the Global TransPark in Kinston. The new AED units found throughout FRCE provide audible step-by-step instructions and automatically deliver shocks to the unconscious individual.
Each AED cabinet also contains a CPR mask and a Stop the Bleed kit. The CPR mask protects against potential transmission of disease while performing CPR by providing a barrier between the rescuer and the patient. Stop the Bleed kits contain the necessary items such as a tourniquet, scissors, gauze and other materials used to control bleeding and prevent further blood loss.
FRCE employees attending the class received detailed training in the use of these items as well as other first aid essentials such as EpiPens, bandages and splints.
Jared Hodges, a student trainee engineer at FRCE, said the training left him feeling confident he could effectively respond to an emergency. He said the class enhances the level of safety at the depot by making sure employees are never far from assistance if an emergency occurs.
“If I ever get put in a situation where I need to perform CPR, use an AED or provide first aid, I can do that in a safe manner,” said Hodges. “With people getting trained throughout the whole facility, it ensures that there is someone working nearby who can step in and help out if something happens. It makes the workplace safer and I think that’s important.”
According to Hand, this training also has benefits that extend beyond the boundaries of the depot. He said students leave the class certified in CPR and using AEDs as well as with the ability to respond to potential emergencies inside or outside of the workplace.
“The knowledge gained in this class is not confined to the inside of our facilities,” said Hand. “Emergencies can happen anywhere. By knowing how to react capably and competently in that situation, people leave this class equipped with skills that can save a life, whether at work, at home or in their community.”
FRCE is North Carolina's largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Its annual revenue exceeds $1 billion. The depot provides service to the fleet while functioning as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.
Learn more at www.navair.navy.mil/frce or https://www.facebook.com/FleetReadinessCenterEast.