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How Prepared Are You?

How Prepared Are You?
by Jennifer LB Leese

You're at work. Your chest starts to bother you. Was it the sausage, onion and pepper sub you ate for breakfast? Or is your fifth cup of coffee getting to you? You look at the clock. 11:30. Too early to take a half day. You start to feel sweaty. A little nauseous. Do you pop down a few Tums? Deciding to go to the restroom and splash your face with stand...only to fall to the ground...unconscious.
You wake hours later in a brilliant white room. Your nearest and dearest is standing beside you. 'What happened?' you ask. Apparently Sue in the office cubicle next to yours took CPR and emergency training.
According to Jack Kesselring, practicing medic for nearly 12 years and an emergency medical technician for close to 17 years, believes that having emergency training is important to our everyday lives. "Students who are trained by EFT [Emergency First Training] walk away with the confidence and ability to handle emergency situations they may not have had in the past. They have the understanding of why things occur and what they can do to assist in resolving the problem," said Jack, President and instructor for Emergency First Training in Hagerstown.
Emergency First Training is a health and safety education company that thrives on high quality training at an affordable cost. The company began when Jack was teaching first responder courses in the area. "I could clearly see there was a great demand for training in the public and corporate sector that was not being met with the quality that the courses should have been." EFT has eight instructors, all of which are Nationally Registered Medics/Paramedics with a minimum of 5 years experience.
Jack's company provides training classes that accommodate the customer's schedule, whether early in the morning, daytime, or late in the evening for shift workers. Jack hopes that EFT will continue to grow at a manageable pace "without jeopardizing the quality of our courses." Courses include CPR, First Extinguisher training, First Responder, Emergency Care, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Blood Borne Pathogen training, First Aid and much more. "Even though what you may be looking for is not listed on our website, please feel free to e-mail us or call us."
You never know when you'll need medical assistance. Jack and EFT can't stress enough that businesses, churches, organizations, schools, malls, etc. should have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on hand.
The Automated External Defibrillator is a device that saves lives! Over 250,000 adults go into cardiac arrest each year outside the hospital. Out of that 250,000 only approximately 8% will survive with CPR alone. However, with an AED in place within the first 3-5 minutes of cardiac arrest, those same adults have increased their odds of survival to over 80%. AED's are being placed in churches, schools, government facilities, malls and airports. In 2004 Dulles International Airport reported 17 cardiac arrests at the airport. Of those 17 cardiac arrests, 7 patients survived due to early defibrillation having been available through Public Access Defibrillation (PAD).
Typically children do not require defibrillation when in cardiac arrest, but there is a condition that occurs numerous times a year that can cause their heart to require defibrillation called Commotio Cordis. Commotio Cordis is an arrhythmia or sudden death from low-impact, blunt trauma to the chest without apparent heart injury. Ventricular fibrillation is the most common associated arrhythmia with in cardiac arrest cases.
Commotio cordis occurs most commonly in baseball but has also been reported in other sporting events. Survival rates are low, even when resuscitation/CPR is administered immediately. Preventive event measures include education of participants and coaches, chest protection, and softer baseballs. Other considerations include having external automatic defibrillators and trained personnel at youth sporting events.
Commotio cordis occurs primarily in youth, with the highest incidence in baseball, softball, and ice hockey. Cases have also been documented in football, lacrosse, basketball, cricket, martial arts, boxing, fights, and vehicular accidents. Death usually occurs from ventricular fibrillation. AED's are designed to convert this rhythm and are very successful in doing so in youths.
Emergency First Training is located at 1100 Sunnyside Drive, Hagerstown. If you're interested in taking courses in emergency training at Emergency First Training, call: 1-888-781-4848, e-mail: or visit them on the web at: Emergency First Training serves MD, PA, WV, and VA.
You could save a life!

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