You never know when you’ll need to use your Red Cross training—Andy Graham knows this well. When he began work at the Apple facility in Austin, Texas, he attended an orientation where they mentioned the Emergency Response Team in Austin. Graham got involved and has been recertified yearly with the American Red Cross of Central Texas.
Here he shares his story about a quiet moment at work that turned into an emergency.
“I was at work one Saturday when, in a quiet moment during the day, I heard my coworker, Sean, say in a panicked voice, ‘Steve! Steve!’ I turned around to see Steve falling backwards and blood coming out of the corners of his mouth. I jumped into action and instantly went through the routines we practiced again and again in class. I made sure Steve was clear of any immediate dangers. Then I pointed at my coworker and said, ‘You, call 911, let them know someone is unconscious.’
“Steve started shaking and convulsing on the ground and it looked like he had hit his head on the desk. I pointed at another coworker, asked for the AED and to contact security. When the first aid kit and AED arrived, I put on the gloves, and as I looked back at Steve, he stopped shaking and he wasn't breathing.
“I checked for signs of life and got ready to perform CPR. However, in the last of the ten seconds while I listened for signs of life, Steve started snoring. I've never been so happy and relieved to hear someone snore. At that point, Steve was no longer seizing and I put him in the recovery position to clear his airway of fluid.
“Steve regained consciousness before the ambulance arrived and had to be calmed. He was scared and had no idea where he was.
“Steve is okay today, and I can't thank the Red Cross of Central Texas or Apple enough for providing the training necessary to get immediate care to my friend. The next time I saw Steve, he came from the hospital to work to talk to his boss. Afterwards, he came to my desk. I was happy to see him upright and himself. I went to shake his hand, but he would have none of that. He wanted a bear hug.
“Thank you so much for putting together these programs. Thank you to all the employees that put that together. Thank you. Thank you. I could never thank you enough for giving me the right tools to do the right thing, right away. I'm sure Steve feels the same way or pretty close to it.”
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.