There is a difference between book smart and practical smart. More on that in a moment. A few weeks ago I took a day off at my employers request to renew my first aid certificates. Back in 2003 I first took the course that taught me how to give CPR, tend to shock victims and use an automated external defibrillator. In the three years that passed I had zero chance to use those skills and that’s a good thing. I passed the courses both times with flying colors. I can tell you how to care for someone who is not breathing, who is in shock and is having a heart attack. And that is just the point. I can tell you but until I have to I can never be sure if I can actually do it.
I like to think of myself as a calm, self sufficient individual. But if on a late night I came upon a car wreck and was first on the scene how calm would I be? The training I got was excellent, don’t get me wrong. The instructor was way beyond competent; he was one of those guys that if you had an emergency you would want him in charge. He answered every one of our dumb questions with patience and good humor and really taught our small group the course professionally and the proof was everyone passed.
But as we all gloated over that fact I couldn’t help but think about the cynical truism I once heard about what you call the guy who had the lowest grade in Medical school. You call that guy Doctor. So someone who barely passes the first aid course is still certified as a life saver. Comforting? Well. But even though I have my doubts about my ability under pressure at least I do know what do.
My advice to you is this. If you choose to have a problem in my workplace, have a heart attack. We have one of those fancy external automated defibrillators-you know the thing you see on TV where they attach the electrodes to a persons chest and shout, clear! That I am sure I can use. In fact our instructor mentioned that he had taught fourth graders how to use it successfully.
The chances of a person surviving a heart attack if one of those is used are greatly increased. I just did a quick eBay search. A bunch of these brand new units are selling for around $600. At that price I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want one close by.