Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alabaster Fire Department CPR Class

In all of the adoption preparations, we learned that we would also have to take a water safety class along with CPR and First Aid because we have a hot tub. While the water safety still needs to be done, we were able to take CPR on Saturday.

Our local fire department offers CPR classes pretty regularly (I think at least once a month) and it's super cheap - only $5 to cover the cost of getting your certification card. If you need the schedule or more information you can get it here.

Our class only had four people in it which really was wonderful. I got CPR certified almost 10 years ago but thankfully have never had to use it. I also know that the standards change and I was a little nervous about remembering everything and being able to do it right, but the small class size made sure we all got a lot of one-on-one help and supervision.

Our instructor (I didn't get his permission so I won't use his name) was absolutely wonderful. He not only made sure that we got all the information that we needed, but he gave it to us in a way that we could remember it. He also answered all of our questions and made sure we were engaged with all of it. Everything was very conversational and incredibly enjoyable. I know I'm a dork who enjoys learning new things, but classes like this are not normally my "thing." However, this one was really fabulous. You can bet that I'll be doing it again to make sure that my certification stays current from now on. As easy and enjoyable as the whole thing was, I'd be foolish not to keep it up!

It seems silly but the most helpful/applicable (and also most intimidating part) for me was "playing" with the EpiPens. We ALWAYS have campers who have them and I've never personally had to see one used or help use one (or even know of a camper at one of my weeks who needed it while they were at camp). We always get a description of how to use them, but we actually practiced using them on ourselves with the teaching devices (which didn't have needles or medicine.) Even knowing that there was no needle in it, I didn't want to even act like I was stabbing it into my leg and it took a little extra encouragement for me to try it. I'm glad that I finally did because I now feel that, if I do ever need to, I could use one on a camper (or anyone else for that matter!) I probably could have done it before if I had to, but it would have taken me a few seconds to talk myself into it and/or read the instructions and I would have gladly given over the responsibility to someone else! Now I think I could do it without too much trouble, although I would still prefer to do what I do best, which is holding hands and offering words of comfort and encouragement!

I believe the whole crew from one of the stations was there during the start (until they had to go to a call). I think the plan was for them to help out with demonstrations and with the actual practicing with the dummies but they were gone when we got to that part. In spite of that, I was so incredibly overwhelmed by the kindness of all of them and their appreciation of us for taking the class. There really are not words for how much I appreciate them and their interactions with us, however brief they might have been. Maybe I'm just overly sentimental these days, but thinking about them and my experience with them makes me tear up a little! They truly are ministers in their own right with an incredible calling and I am grateful for all that they do!

If you need CPR certification or it's something you are thinking about taking/doing, let them help you out! It's a fabulous experience and I promise you will walk away a better person!

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