The KBS Safety Team spent the month of March focusing on providing CPR, AED and First Aid recertification training to our superintendents, project managers, and any other employees who wished to participate in the training sessions. Each Monday, training has been led by our Corporate Safety Director, Mark Lambert, who is a certified instructor and attendees have been able to complete all three re-certifications in one class session.
During the First Aid portion of the class, Mark focuses on a wide variety of topics including fractures, strains and sprains, heat-related injuries and illnesses, strokes and heart attacks, and seizures. The goal of providing First Aid training to KBS superintendents is not only so they can care for KBS field employees, but also in the event of accident, injury or illness to one of our subcontractors’ employees. KBS has also provided certification training for CPR for many years. CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is used when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. CPR uses a combination of techniques including chest compressions, designed to pump the heart to get blood circulating and deliver oxygen to the brain until definitive treatment can stimulate the heart to start working again. According to the American Heart Association, immediate CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival in a life-threatening situation.
During the training, one of our long-time superintendents George Cramp shared this story about how his KBS training helped out when a fellow vacationer was injured: “A person injured himself resulting in a lot of pain. He fainted and when I rendered assistance the training immediately kicked in. I checked for breathing and ascertained the victim was not breathing. I went through the process of opening the airway and was just about to give a rescue breath when the victim regained consciousness and started to breathe on his own. EMS was called and arrived soon after he regained consciousness. I asked the doctor what was the reason for the victim to stop breathing and he said that when some people experience severe pain their brain temporarily “shuts down” or something like that resulting in this type of reaction. Then the brain realizes this and snaps back out of it. Needless to say it freaked me out but I was happy to know that the training kicked in.”
Certification to use an AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is one part of the training that may be new to some of KBS’ newer employees. According to Mark, it is very unusual to see an AED device present on jobsites – and KBS owns seven of the devices, two in the main office and five are rotated on our jobsites. An AED can be used to analyze and restore a normal heart rhythm on someone having a heart attack and is very easy to operate by anyone with no formal medical training. According to the American Red Cross, the average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8 – 12 minutes – but for each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced approximately 10%. “The fact that we have these AED’s is part of our commitment to the safety and well-being of the people on our jobsites,” said Mark Lambert. Thankfully, none of the AEDs have been put to the test, but KBS’ employees are trained on how to use them if the need arises.