Reviewing accepted standards and procedures for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be part of any yearly training plan. These days, reviewing standards for using automatic external defibrillator (AED) equipment should also be a required component. These devices have proliferated not only in the services we provide to the public but also in myriad public places. Chances are if you don’t carry one on your rig, you’ll still end up potentially using one in any number of public places and should be familiar with AED use. Additionally, results from a recent FireEngineering.com Quick Vote show that 61 percent of respondents who carry AEDs on their rigs are trained to use an AED first for best results versus CPR. The objectives of this week’s drill are to review the accepted standards for performing CPR, using AEDs, and to build members’ skills in a classroom and rescue environment.
You’ll need to check out manikins well before the class starts and allow 30 minutes to organize the equipment. Required materials include one or more manikins, preferably with recorders, one ore more baby manikins, cleaning supplies, replacement lungs for the manikins, and an AED.
Arrange for a certified instructor for whatever agency is approved by your jurisdiction to teach the class. Preferably, this person would be a member of the department.
Running the Drill
Give a short presentation, reviewing procedures for:
- One- and two-person adult CPR;
- Child CPR;
- Infant CPR;
- Choking in adults, children, and infants; and
- AED operation.
Have each person demonstrate his skills in each of the above evolutions. Then have teams perform the evolution of assessing a patient and beginning CPR, loading the patient on a backboard, and moving the patient down one or two flights of stairs while maintaining CPR. Make the situation as realistic as possible. If you are in public, post signs that you are conducting a drill. If possible, use manikins equipped with recorders. At the end of the practical session, have all members complete the recertification written test and issue new CPR cards, good for one year. At your debriefing, concentrate on ways to improve patient handling while maintaining CPR. Review the manikin tapes, which will show the team’s performance while moving the patient.
At the drill’s conclusion, discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what should be done differently the next time.
If you have a similar drill idea and wish to share it, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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