CPR - A life's worth of knowledge

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ryan Whitney
  • Nellis Public Affairs
Thump, thump, thump. A pounding on the door wakes you up, the clock beside your bed reads 11:45 p.m. Thump, thump, thump. The weak pounding continues as you roll out of bed and walk to the door.

At the door and look through the peep hole. You see a young child, the same child that you had seen earlier that day playing outside under his aunt's watchful eye, but he looks different, now he looks scared.

You open the door and ask the child what is wrong, and he repetitively says  "Auntie, auntie."

You realize something is wrong and walk to the neighbor's home to see what has happened. There you find the child's aunt lying on her bed with no pulse and unconscious.

Many people would expect to see something like this on TV, but for Senior Airman Jason Brackins, 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Big Bombs crew member, this situation became reality May 10, 2007.

Airman Brackins performed Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation on his neighbor for 12 minutes until paramedics arrived. She was then transported to the hospital where she was successfully resuscitated.

Airman Brackins was prepared for this situation, not because he was a nurse or paramedic, but because he had of the training that he had received while in the military.
He has completed American Red Cross at Nellis Air Force Base and also received a course on Self-Aid Buddy Care, which is taught to all members of the Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where they attend Basic Military Training.

"CPR is one of those things that no one really appreciates until they have to use it," said Airman Brackins. "I am just glad that I had an idea of what I needed to do to help out."

"I have met very few people who have actually needed to use skills that they have acquired in the Basic Adult CPR course, but it is always better to know how to perform CPR and never use it than to need to perform CPR but not know how," said Master Sgt. Clarence Johnson, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant and Red Cross CPR instructor.

The courses that are available on base cover CPR in generic terms, keeping the information simple and easy to grasp, explained Sergeant Johnson.

"The Red Cross course is designed to provide the participants the confidence to respond to an emergency and skills that can save lives," said Sergeant Johnson.

The Red Cross offers multiple courses, including infant, child and adult CPR as well as an automatic electronic defibrillator in conjunction with CPR and a "babysitter's" course which is recommended parents have their babysitters attend to prepare for the worst case scenario the sergeant continued.

First the students, normally six to 10 per class, go to a classroom setting where they are taught via lecture and by watching a DVD. After that, the students are evaluated on a practical exercise, in which they demonstrate proper technique on a mannequin while an instructor grades their performance.

The Red Cross offers at least two classes per month. Each class last approximately seven hours, depending on the size of the class.

"Anyone who can, should come to this course; it is an enjoyable class where you learn valuable information in a fun atmosphere. You learn how to save someone's life, and there is no feeling greater than that," said Sergeant Johnson.

For more information on the American Red Cross or to sign up for a CPR course visit www.redcross.org or call (702) 652-2106.