My Red Cross Certification in First Aid and CPR

Ten Years Ago

I briefly had a job that required me to take CPR and First Aid training and certification from the American Red Cross.  I remember it vividly.  There I was, one of only two attractive 20 year olds in a room full of older, out of shape students.  The other sat across the room: a cute, petite girl named April.

When the intstructor mentioned pairing up with practice partners, I think April and I had the same thought.  If we were going to have to go lip-to-lip with a stranger, it should be with each other.  We quickly paired up.  As it turned out, we used plastic dummies for mouth-to-mouth practice.  Darn.

I remember very little from the training itself.


I once again sat in a Red Cross classroom.  Much like last time, it was filled with people looking to fill a work requirement.  Unlike last time, nobody was making me take this class.  I paid for it myself, and the little cards they hand out as you pass the tests were merely decorative.  I was after the knowledge, to help my family and others in times of emergency.

Lucky for me, this training was a lot more extensive than what I’d had a decade ago.  We spent a lot of time practicing on those dummies in adult, child, and infant size.  We went through several 2-minute drills of CPR, making sure we learned the entire cycle, and how to adapt to the situation at hand.  I can now recognize if an unconscious person got that way by choking, and what to do about it.  Nine hours later, I held my three new certifications:

These are my certifications for First Aid, Adult CPR, and Child/Infant CPR.

These are my certifications for First Aid, Adult CPR, and Child/Infant CPR.

The First Aid certification is good for a full three years, and I completely understand why.  There’s very little somebody like me can do in a serious first aid situation.  It amounts to calling 911 as soon as possible, and keeping the person alive until they get there.  While the same is true for CPR, the process is much more complex.  Diagnosis of the problem is trickier, and so is the course of action.  You’re still just buying time until professional help arrives, but seconds count.  Accordingly, CPR certifications, which are broken down into Adult and Child/Infant, are for one year only.

I don’t consider myself a medic by any stretch, but I’m proud of being one step closer.  I’m thinking of volunteering with the Red Cross, which can get you more training for free, and real-life experience.  I also noticed their web site lists “wilderness first aid”.  That sounds like a winner!

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2 Responses to “My Red Cross Certification in First Aid and CPR”

  1. amrecro Says:

    Great post! I’d love to feature it on the American Red Cross blog: if you’re up for it!

  2. chubbysurvivalist Says:

    I’d like that! I’m glad you enjoyed the article, I certainly enjoyed the class. And it’s funny how the class itself was a neat workout. You’re in positions and going through motions that most people don’t do very often, so new muscles get tested. I slept great that night 🙂

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