The Union Recorder


July 8, 2014

Medical Training Specialists teaches lifesaving skills

MILLEDGEVILLE — Every minute counts in an emergency medical situation, which Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez knows too well.

Gonzalez became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in 1991 and started teaching Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) two years later.

“As an EMT and coroner in Baldwin County, it became apparent to me that CPR isn’t being performed out there prior to EMS arrival. There is no pre-hospital treatment of patients. After four minutes, brain cells start to die and after six minutes brain cells don’t come home,” Gonzalez said. “It’s extremely important that CPR gets initiated by the family member. Most deaths occur at home.”

Along with Jill Blackwell, Gonzalez operates Medical Training Specialists that serves as a Training Center for the American Heart Association (AHA).

Gonzalez is an AHA faculty member, while Blackwell is an AHA certified instructor.

The business started in 1995 teaching health care providers, churches, daycares and other individuals.

“It’s grown to where we teach a thousand students a year,” Gonzalez said. “We started in Milledgeville but have gone as far as Alabama to teach.”

Medical Training Specialists offers classes twice per week typically by appointment, as well as groups in the workplace. One-on-one classes are available.

Blackwell feels passionate about the instruction more so than making money for it.

“It’s about teaching people to save lives,” she said. “There [are] too many people out there actually who do not know what to do. A lot of times people panic. We teach people that even though you may panic you can still react.”

CPR isn’t difficult to learn though it’s easy to forget the steps.

The AHA certification card and certificate lasts for two years.

It’s vital to recertify after that period.

“It’s important for you to retain those skills,” Gonzalez said.

While CPR classes are the most popular, Medical Training Specialists also teaches first aid, EKG, blood borne pathogens, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support among others.

Prices are affordable.

The first-time CPR class is $45 and $40 for group or repeats.

The training specialist will visit a business and set up a “code blue drill.”

A mock cardiac arrest with a mannequin hits home.

Emergency medical situations aren’t easy for anyone.

“When I teach a class, priority number one is for you to realize that these are stressful situations whether you are a doctor, paramedic, housekeeper or a mechanic. It doesn’t matter,” Gonzalez said. “If you practice the same survey every time you practice CPR, then it become like a piece of equipment you are trying to put together and it’s not quite as difficult.”

Blackwell said it’s about the person in trouble. Instructors impart a notion of putting nervousness aside to save a life.

“Somebody has to take control,” she said.

Learning CPR and passing that process to family members becomes necessity.

What if you are the one in trouble?

“You want your kids and your wife to know CPR because you are more likely to die at home than anywhere else,” Gonzalez said. “If I’m showing up as a coroner, then it’s too late. So many lives and brain cells could be saved.”

Cardiac arrest survival statistics aren’t pretty. Good CPR could turn those numbers the right way.

Gonzalez said the AHA has hands only techniques for those concerned with mouth-to-mouth.

Medical Training Specialists can be reached at 478-451-5091. The storefront address is 1686 N. Columbia St. Suite B.


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