In the past several months, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District employees have been being trained for CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and Naloxone (NARCAN).
The Corps of Engineers is committed to public safety and that is why many positions at the Corps require CPR and First Aid training. Buffalo District has its very own first aid team to ensure safety at the District office. Employees whose positions require this training are not allowed to complete some of their duties, such as field work without it.
“Safety is an investment in our workforce, ensuring employees and the stakeholders, partners, along with the general public they work with, can remain safe and accomplish the mission,” said MAJ Patrick Billmann. “So having CPR and first aid training for our employees who perform field work, including sampling efforts, wetland delineations, etc. in remote conditions that may be hazardous, is essential.”
Every two years Corps of Engineers employees complete 6 hours of first aid and CPR training, as required by their position hazard plan. The training entails a presentation of how to perform CPR and first aid skills, followed by hands-on practice for each individual with instructor oversight to ensure the tasks are executed correctly.
“First Aid, CPR, and AED training provides the workforce with the capability to react instantly to any accidents or injuries,” said Vanessa Matheny, Buffalo District Safety and Occupational Health Specialist. “In the event of a medical or first aid emergency, employees can administer basic treatment or CPR. Trained employee will understand the steps needed to respond to an emergency event. Performing CPR during critical and life threatening events in the workplaces saves lives!”
Three instructors, each with over 20 years of experience, were brought in from Erie County Emergency Medical Services under the direction of Commissioner, Greg Gill for two training sessions through the winter months to ensure that employees have the training they need.
Jean Brockner, Corps of Engineers Contracting Procurement /Analyst & Collective Safety Duty Officer (EMT) helped bring this training to the District office and also assisted in providing the training as she interns under the other instructors.
“I bring these skills to the district to be available to assist in any emergency that arises, or has arisen in the district since I have been an employee with the Corps of Engineers,” said Brockner. “I take what I do very seriously because of the training here that we have, has made a difference over multiple years in saving people’s lives. Since I am able to bring these skills to the district, passing these skills on to new people that have joined the first aid team has really paid off.”
With the current climate of prescription drug use in the United States NARCAN training was an extra training advocated for, and brought to the district by Brockner. NARCAN training is training that was added on for Buffalo teammates, something they can use to be extra safe on the job. NARCAN training consists of teaching employees how to use NARCAN nasal spray, which is used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Anyone can purchase NARCAN at a drug store, but it must be kept at room temperature (so don’t keep it in your car) and is best do have the training to have a full understanding how to use it and how the drug works.
Having enhanced skills for our Buffalo District employees has made a difference in safety around the district, and for those employees working outside the office with the public while accomplishing the mission on the ground.