Does Your Gym Have an Emergency Plan?
One of the requirements for re-certification of the NCSF-CPT credential is proof of valid, current CPR. Knowledge into the techniques is not difficult to attain, but can be very relevant in a professional environment. Certainly the occurrence of an emergency event of this nature is not an everyday situation but the possibility of such an event warrants preparation and appropriate readiness. In a clear example of how important the competency is to a fitness environment, Anna Henson, an employee of Charter Fitness of Bloomington, IL saved the life of a club member after he went into cardiac arrest last month. While sitting on a bench in the club the member suddenly passed out and fell to the floor. Taking immediate action Henson called 911, retrieved the club's defibrillator and began CPR, keeping the member alive until paramedics arrived. The member later recovered at the hospital. In a statement from Bloomington Fire Department, Captain Brad McCollum wrote, "The patient's survival from this event was due in large part to the quick action of the employee.”
The survival rates of many victims who suffer a cardiac event are directly related to the actions that take place in immediate response. Like Charter Fitness many clubs are now equipped with an automatic defibrillator and each employee should be trained on how to respond to a serious event such as a cardiac arrest. It is prudent to create and practice an emergency plan consistent with the resources of the facility; by writing down the steps in a sequential plan and practicing the scenario with a level of routine a major event will more likely be managed appropriately, improving the outcome for the victim and facility alike. Additionally it is wise to have all the necessary equipment and ensure it is functioning properly. Waiting until an event to find out the equipment is expired, batteries are dead, or someone used the supplies without replacing them only worsens the situation. A monthly check on safety equipment helps ensure the resources are available. The old adage still stands: people do not plan to fail; they fail to plan (and practice it).