CPR Madison logo

What would you do if you found someone lying unconscious on the gym locker room floor?

What would you do if your child started choking at the dinner table?

What would you do if your walking partner suddenly grabbed their left arm and complained of intense chest pain?

These are all things we hate to think about, but they happen every day. The best thing that you can do to protect your family, friends and even yourself is to take a “CPR, First-Aid & AED class” at CPR Madison. CPR stands for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, and it’s what we associate with rescue breathing and chest compressions. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator, and these medical devices are found in most public places.

As a personal trainer, I am required to be Adult CPR/AED certified. This week I’m attending a class for healthcare providers at the Emergency Medical Services Building located at 2020 Parmenter St. in Middleton. You may never find yourself in a situation to use CPR, but learning these life-saving skills is a lot like having insurance. . . just in case. It’s about being prepared. Let me share three personal experiences with you.

Once, when I was working at a gym in Los Angeles I saw another trainer’s client pass out while on an assisted pull-up machine. She fell off the platform and landed on a sit-up bench. Immediately the other personal trainer called me over to help. Luckily, the client was fine, more embarrassed than bruised. It was early in the morning and she said that she hadn’t had any breakfast (low blood sugar). In addition she was doing an exercise that changed elevation, so she got light-headed. Have you ever felt a little dizzy when you got up from a chair after sitting for a long time?

Another time it was more serious. I was in the middle of a training session at the same gym, and a man had a heart attack while walking on a treadmill. Without speaking a word, my client, who was a healthcare professional, and I looked at each other. He ran over to the elderly man and I ran to the sales office to call 9-1-1. While I was on the phone, my client and another member started CPR. Two other gym members, a nurse and a doctor, were there to help. The paramedics arrived in less than two minutes.

Recently, I was at a local gym when a cable on a machine snapped while a member was exercising. The bar she was lifting smacked her in the head and she crumpled to the floor. I ran over to her and noticed major swelling forming on her forehead. She tried getting up but was disoriented and off balance. I insisted that she stay on the floor. You might be wondering what everyone else was doing while this was going on. Some were just watching and others continued to work out. I shouted at the front desk person to call 9-1-1 because a member was hurt. I’ll never forget his response. He asked “Why?” I repeated that a member had a serious injury. He looked even more confused. Even as I write this, my heart is starting to beat faster recalling my frustration. Paramedics arrived quickly. While the woman received treatment (and eventually went to the hospital), I answered questions about the incident.

So do your loved ones, and even strangers, a favor by taking a CPR, First-Aid & AED class. It might come in handy one day.