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Joined: 12/29/2014
Posts: 3
I am staring at a naked dummy. Every year at work, we go through CPR and first aid training. The day is a waste to me, simply because I see it as a day to waste time on a skill I will never use. I will tolerate this, because it is cold outside and I can stay in this warm training center, drinking coffee and wondering what to have for dinner. Our instructor goes on and on incessantly about what we should look for in scenarios, to make sure our area is safe before approaching, and to look for the major signs of life.
No air? Breathe for them.
No pulse? Try compressions.
Keep trying until someone comes to relieve you or the situation is unsafe. Got it.
I will never have to use this.
I rescue my dummy to the satisfaction of the instructor. I am free to go until another year when I take this course again for the fourteenth time, never to have used it on actual people.
Now, what to have for dinner?
I wander around the super market, and on such a cold day, lean toward pasta and soup. I grab a bottle of red wine and look at the fresh pastas in the deli. Then, I hear the sudden collapse.
A woman behind me falls to the ground, incoherent, right behind me.
My familiar grocery store is now been interwoven with my skills just refreshed today. My annoying instructor's voice that repeated so much today rings in the back of my mind.
"Survey the scene."
I look around at grocery buyers alarmed at the woman's condition. She is down on the ground and is completely unresponsive to a younger woman yelling at her, "Mom!"
The scene is safe. I take a deep breath and approach the victim.
"Hey, are you okay? May I help?" I look to her politely to wait for a response and then wait for the girl to give me a nod yes. I start my training.
No breath. Two rescue breaths. Did not for once think about the cooties.
Step two-pulse? There is a pulse, thank God. I begin rescue breathing and ask the girl to call 911.

Nine hours later, or perhaps nine minutes later, I had succeeded. The woman began to breathe on her own. The crowd had gotten larger, but I had not noticed since I was fixed on doing my training. The EMT's arrived to thank me, as did the woman. I didn't realize how many people were around. I just realized that I had helped. I don’t know what change that woman felt after this experience, but I know I had a giant wake up call. The world is not guaranteed, but being a change can be the mark one leaves. Inspiration after saving someone’s life is typical, but shaking myself out of my monotonous routine was something that woman did for me. We both changed for the better today.

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