I signed up for the St. John’s Amulance two day course, the Standard First Aid with Level C CPR with AED. My first surprise was finding out what AED meant – an automated external defibulator – a device used to help deliver a shock to restart a stopped heart. We had baby mannequins, adult ones, and practise our first aid skills on each other in groups of 2’s and 3’s. There were two women in the class and 18 men, all of whom worked in construction – bald, tall, short, fat, heavily tattooed – all shapes and sizes. They had one thing in common. When the videos were shown where a sharp object was impaled in a leg or where an appendage was cut off, they all groaned together. There were many tests along the way. I got 96% on the last test. I always hate loosing 4 percent.
I like to be in competition and I was in the running to be the best when we were told we could assessed our chances of having a stroke. So with all of you standing, she first said, sit down, those of you who smoke. Then those of you who drink, who have family histories of strokes, and next, those who have gone to MacDonalds or its equivalent this week. The territory was thinning out. Not many were left standing. Then those who have exercised for one hour at least three times this week, either in a gym, or somewhere you could do this with intensity could stay standing. Ouch. If I had been on the cruise I wouldn't have had to sit down.
I wasn’t amused when the discussion turned to cell phones. The instructor said that rarely in an emergency does anyone have to run for a telephone now a days. The cell phone has been a boon for calling 9-1-1. “Does anyone still have a land line,” one man asked. “I will see,” said the instructor. Mine was the lone hand that went up in a survey of 21 people. Don’t buy any stocks in telephone companies – at least not the land line division. Richard has been telling me over and over, I must learn to text. Will this be the incident that brings me into the 21st century?