by david austin
ConocoPhillips’ Medical Response Team (MRT) assisted with some potentially lifesaving training at Bartlesville (Okla.) High School (BHS) on Oct. 11.
The Bartlesville-based team was part of an effort focused on offering more than 430 freshmen insight into performing CPR, using an automated external defibrillator (AED) and responding to choking emergencies.
Citizens CPR coordinated the effort to teach the freshmen — in 12 classes spanning nearly two hours each — while volunteers from ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66, Oklahoma Wesleyan University and the Tri County Technology Center pitched in as well.
Representing ConocoPhillips were Bartlesville MRT cocaptains Grady Harman, associate, Corporate Accounting & Reporting and Darren McCaslin, staff auditor, Joint Venture Auditing, as well as Drew Palmer, associate, Data Center & Backup Operations, the team’s recruiter. In their role with the 11-person Bartlesville MRT, Harman and McCaslin lead CPR/AED classes on the company’s downtown campus.
“The BHS classes went really well,” said Harman. “You could tell the students were engaged and wanted to learn. They could really see the benefits of what we were teaching them.”
The State of Oklahoma sees the benefits as well, having enacted a state law last year that requires its high school students — from grades nine through 12 — to be trained in CPR and AED use. The law has resulted in efforts such as that seen at BHS.
The classes took place in the BHS Freshman Center, where McCaslin, Harman and Palmer assisted with demonstrating techniques such as chest compressions on the dummies that were available. In addition, McCaslin and Palmer ended up teaching classes. While Palmer is a certified CPR instructor, the experience was a bit unique for McCaslin.
“I have quite a bit of teaching experience, but the curriculum for Citizens CPR is a little different than what we teach at ConocoPhillips,” said McCaslin. “But overall, the experience went really well. I appreciated the fact that the students asked really good questions and took the class very seriously.”
One of the reasons it’s important for more people — including those as young as high school freshmen — to know basic lifesaving skills is because time is of the essence once a situation arises. According to information provided by the American Red Cross, for each minute CPR and defibrillation (via an AED) are delayed, the victim’s chances for survival are reduced by about 10 percent. So, a delay of 10 minutes or more to someone such as a heart attack victim may have fatal consequences.
“In addition, most medical emergencies happen at home,” says McCaslin. “That’s where a technique like CPR or a device such as an AED is needed.”