For Facility Managers

First Aid and CPR/AED

Do not underestimate how very important it is to make sure your staff is up to date on their first aid skills.

 

How can one overstate this enough?  In our line of work, running a fitness facility, we have an ethical and legal obligation to the people who come in to our facilities.  We hire people who are bound to an industry standard for certification with first aid/cpr/aed, but, it is a very easy thing to let slide.

The American Red Cross fa/cpr/aed card is valid for a year and the American Heart Association fa/cpr/aed card is valid for two years.  The training, however changes every 5 years as these organizations strive to make this course accessible to all as well as current and relevant, so taking the class just once in a professional life time is not enough.

 

Yet many certifying bodies for the fitness industry don't require proof for maintainence of a person's credentials.  It is registered on the honor system and seldom checked.

 

What facility managers should consider is random spot checks of current fa/cpr certification. I know how terribly "intrusive" and "mis-trusting" this might come across, but it is important to keep in mind the customers you serve.  A manager who takes this seriously might conduct a meeting every 6 months to review the  facility emergency proceedures manual and update the list of current fa/cpr responders.  Those who are expiring or expired could be directed toward up-coming classes and asked to provide proof of certification before they do expire.

 

It is an excellent opportunity for a facility to host the training as well.  Knowing that many skills are already common knowledge (for example stopping bleeding or initiating the call to an emergency response team, often 911 in the US/Canada) then the class serves as a wonderful team-builder and a place for open communication for new employees.  Lessons learned from past experiences and identifying gaps in the emergency plan (like "that door is no longer the best access for a stretcher" or "new first aid kits are kept behind the front desk" ...or something like that)  will go a long way toward boosting employer/employee confidence in each other - not to mention the clientel you serve.

 

Check your own expiration date.  You must be currently certified to hold on to your fitness credentials.  Book your own class as soon as you can to create that ripple effect of positive influence.  The newest protocols are interesting and worthwhile.

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