Earlier this month I joined six other USDA staff members in an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) training session in Bangor, Maine. In addition, 8 other staff was trained at a different facility in Portland, Maine in July. In total 15 staff members were provided with this valuable opportunity to learn how to save a life.
USDA Rural Development is taking a proactive approach to health and wellness and has purchased five AED units, which will be placed in all four area offices and in the state office to ensure the health and safety of its 69 staff members and any members of the public who need emergency assistance.
The training ensured that there was a least one employee educated to use the equipment in the case of an emergency.
Ensuring our staff has a safe, healthy, and productive environment in which to work is important to me. The valuable training our USDA Rural Development staff received from the American Red Cross will prepare them not only in the case of an emergency at the office, but also in their roles outside of the work environment.
Rural Development Area Director Tom Stevens who participated said, “The training was very educational. It was well worth the time spent learning and practicing the various techniques. Although I hope that I will never need to use this training, I’m much more confident that I could help someone in need should the situation arise.”
In addition to learning how to use the AED units, staff also learned CPR and basic first aid, including how to wrap a wound, identify and care for several conditions (before medical help arrives) including hypothermia, heat stroke, shock, heart attack, stroke, and other serious life-threatening conditions.