By Mike Santa, CVP
Does your venue staff know how to utilize the basic lifesaving skills of CPR and AEDs? Do they even know where your venue’s AEDs are located? As I sat in a recent training for our venue staff, I was reminded of the importance of these vital lifesaving techniques.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year in the United States, and effective CPR provided can increase the chances of survival by two or three times. Additionally, 90% of cardiac arrest victims who received a shock from an AED device in the first minute ultimately live!
Many of our venues today have ALS or BLS medical personnel on-site ready to assist in medical emergencies, but training our frontline part-time staff can make all the difference. In fact, every minute that a victim does not receive CPR or AED defibrillation, their chance of survival decreases by 7%. If a patron went into cardiac arrest at your next event, how long would it take trained medical personnel to arrive on-scene and diagnose the problem? Having knowledgeable and trained frontline staff can save lives.
Training part-time staff on these skills can be challenging due to the sheer number of topics they need to be trained on within your venue, high turnover, and instructor ratio requirements for CPR certification. Consider the following opportunities for your venue:
• Utilize an outside organization that provides CPR training through the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or other agency. Most classes require a 1-to-8 instructor-to-participant ratio, so this can be a more expensive option. However, it usually can be paired with basic first aid training and can be great option for a full-time manager level.
• Consider having someone on your team become an official CPR instructor through an agency. Becoming an instructor requires more extensive training and experience, but many of our venues already have people who have past medical backgrounds working for us.
• Put staff through “Hands Only CPR” training. We recently provided this option for our team. While this did not give our staff the option to officially become CPR certified through one of the commonly known agencies, our university was able to provide hands only CPR training and AED training on a large-scale. We now have more than 100 people on our team able to perform basic life saving techniques.
• Work with your team on locations of AED devices within your venue. If your staff can quickly retrieve an AED for someone who is certified, it can save valuable time.
Early recognition and treatment of cardiac arrest can make a life-saving impact for your patrons. Consider getting your entire team trained to make the difference!
Mike Santa, CVP, is general manager of Indiana University Event Services in Bloomington, Indiana.