You may now have a medical emergency around me (until 2010).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I didn't post all weekend.  But I have a good excuse!  I spent all day Saturday taking an Adult First Aid/CPR/AED class at the Palo Alto Area Red Cross.

I'd last taken a first aid class in 2004, before Tony, Steph, and I rode to Alaska.  We all took the class together, figuring that we should probably be able to splint up one another should the need arise. 

Fortunately, it never did arise, but it piqued an interest in first aid/first responder info for me. 

Some of that is just my personality — I have panic disorder that I pretty much never talk about on this site, but it manifests in some severe hypochondria sometimes.  Learning as much as possible about anatomy/physiology has helped me keep that under control.

Also, I just like being prepared and helping people.  I've always wanted to take EMT classes but have never been able to work it into my work schedule, so CPR/AED it is for the time being.

I was the only person in the class taking it for personal interest; most people were there because their jobs or some activity required it.  There was a woman who taught horseback riding to disabled kids, an arborist, a personal trainer, two high school kids who needed the class for graduation requirements, and a woman who wanted to lead her daughter's Girl Scout troop.

The first half of the class (9am-12pm) focused on CPR.  I'd last taken CPR about 15 years ago, so it was a great review for me.  The mannequins are creepy as ever, especially with the little fake "lung" that inflates its chest when you give it a rescue breath.  Uncanny valley, anyone?

The second half of the class (1pm-4pm) was First Aid, which was a breeze for me since I read up on it fairly often.  I don't think I really learned anything new, but it solidified skills I already had, which is important.

First Aid certification is good for 3 years and CPR certification is good for 1 year, but since I do it for "fun" and not a job requirement, I'll try to take the classes every 2 years. 


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