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7 Tips for working in extreme cold

The risks of being exposed to the extreme cold are numerous and dangerous. 

Here are some simple tips on how to stay warm in the cold and how to notice the warning signs of hypothermia.

Tips for Working in the Extreme Cold

1. Wear appropriate clothing. Wear several layers of clothing. The layers should fit loosely because tight clothing reduces blood circulation and warm blood needs to be circulated to the extremities. When choosing clothing, be aware that some clothing may restrict movement which, in and of itself, may create a hazardous working situation.

2. Make sure to protect the ears, face, hands, and feet in extremely cold weather. Boots should be waterproof and insulated.

3. Be sure to wear a hat. The goal should be to expose as little skin as possible to the cold environment.
Workers in extreme conditions should take frequent, short breaks in warm, dry shelters to allow their bodies to warm up.

4. Drink warm beverages and eat warm, high-calorie foods.

5. Avoid exhaustion and fatigue because they sap energy, and energy is needed to keep muscles warm.

6. Use the buddy system – work in pairs so that one worker can recognize danger signs.

7. Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses and injuries and what to do to help workers.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature)

Early Stage Shivering
– Fatigue
– Loss of coordination
– Confusion and disorientation Hypothermia is a medical emergency.  If not treated in the early stage, the condition will become life-threatening.

 Late Stage No shivering
– Blue skin
– Dilated pupils
– Slowed pulse and breathing
– Loss of consciousness
– Request immediate medical assistance.

First Aid for Hypothermia
– Request emergency medical assistance.
– Move the victim into a warm room or shelter.
– Remove any wet clothing.
– Warm the center of the victim’s body first, that is, the chest, neck, head, and groin.  One may also use loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
– If the victim is conscious, warm beverages may help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages.
After the victim’s body temperature has increased, keep the victim dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.

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Shoveling Snow? This might shock you…

Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, SnOMG!

There is no end to the terms for “really big snowstorm,” and those terms came in handy, particularly in America’s snowiest cities. Just check out these average annual snowfall totals, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

  • Mt. Washington, NH – 281.2 inches
  • Houghton, MI – 207.7 inches
  • Syracuse, NY – 123.8 inches
  • Sault St. Marie, MI – 120.4 inches
  • Caribou, ME – 108.7 inches
  • Flagstaff, AZ – 101.7 inches
  • Traverse City, MI – 101.4 inches

But with really big snow storms – and even everyday, run-of-the-mill snowfalls – comes a risk of death by shoveling. Nationwide, snow shoveling is responsible for thousands of injuries and as many as 100 deaths each year.

So, why so many deaths? Shoveling snow is just another household chore, right?

Not really, says the American Heart Association. While most people won’t have a problem, shoveling snow can put some people at risk of heart attack. Sudden exertion, like moving hundreds of pounds of snow after being sedentary for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower also can cause injury.


Cold weather can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly careful.

National Safety Council recommends the following tips to shovel safely:

  • Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
  • Take it slow and stretch out before you begin
  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it’s lighter
  • Push the snow rather than lifting it
  • If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion
  • Know the signs of a heart attack, and stop immediately and call 911 if you’re experiencing any of them; every minute counts

Don’t pick up that shovel without a doctor’s permission if you have a history of heart disease. A clear driveway is not worth your life.


Snow Blower Safety

In addition to possible heart strain from pushing a heavy snow blower, be safe with tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, including:

  • If the blower jams, turn it off
  • Keep your hands away from the moving parts
  • Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
  • Add fuel outdoors, before starting, and never add fuel when it is running
  • Never leave it unattended when it is running



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Are You Ready for the Feb 1st OSHA Reporting Deadline?

In the midst of all the confusion over electronic reporting, make sure that you don’t make common mistakes.

The deadline for employers to prepare, certify and post a hard copy of their 300A annual summary of injuries and illnesses report in their workplaces for employees to see is Feb. 1st —unless your business is excluded because you have fewer than 10 employees or are on a list of low-hazard industries, such as dental offices, advertising services and car dealers.

These are hard copy reports meant to be posted in the workplace for employees to see. Employers in certain other industries must electronically file their reports for 2018 with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) no later than March 2.

Also, keep in mind that because of an agreement reached between Congress and President Trump last September, OSHA and all other agencies operating under the umbrella of the Department of Labor continue to function under the partial government shutdown.

The Form 300A is a summation of the workplace injuries and illnesses recorded on the OSHA 300 Log during the previous calendar year, as well as the total hours worked that year by all employees covered by the OSHA 300 Log. By Feb. 1 employers must review their OSHA 300 Logs, verify the entries on the 300 Log are complete and accurate, and correct any deficiencies discovered.

The employer then must use the injury data from the 300 Log to calculate an annual summary of injuries and illnesses and complete the 300A Annual Summary Form, and certify the accuracy of the 300 Log and the 300A Summary Form.

With the many changes made in the reporting process over recent years, employers need to avoid making some of the most common mistakes, according to attorneys Lindsay DiSalvo, Daniel Deacon and Eric Conn of the law firm of Conn Maciel Carey LLP. “We frequently see employers make mistakes related to this annual duty to prepare, post and certify the injury and illness recordkeeping summary.”

Some regularly made mistakes include

● Not having a management representative with high enough status within the company “certify” the 300A.

● Not posting a 300A for years in which there were no recordable injuries.

● Not maintaining a copy of the certified version of the 300A form.

● Not updating prior years’ 300 Logs based on newly discovered information about previously unrecorded injuries or changes to injuries previously recorded.

● Confusing the requirement to Post a 300A in the workplace with the requirement to electronically submit 300A data to OSHA’s web portal.

How to Do It Right

“A common mistake employers make is to have a management representative sign the 300A Form who is not at a senior enough level in the company to constitute a ‘company executive,” the lawyers note. This is defined as an owner of the company, a corporate officer, the highest-ranking company official working at the workplace, or the immediate supervisor of the highest-ranking company official at that location.

After certifying the 300A, OSHA’s regulations require the certified copy of the 300A Summary Form be posted in the workplace for three months, through April 30. The attorneys point out that many employers fail to prepare or post a 300A Form in years when there were no recordable injuries or illnesses.

“Even when there have been no recordable injuries, OSHA regulations still require employers to complete the 300A form, entering zeroes into each column total, and to post the 300A just the same,” warn the Conn Maciel Carey lawyers.

After April 30, employers may take down the 300A Form, but must maintain for five years following the end of the prior calendar year at the facility covered by the form or at a central location, a copy of the underlying OSHA 300 Log, the certified 300A Annual Summary Form and any corresponding 301 Incident Report forms.

Another common mistake made by employers is to keep only the electronic version of the 300A, and not the version that was printed, “certified” typically by a handwritten signature and posted at the facility. “Accordingly, those employers have no effective way to demonstrate to OSHA during an inspection or enforcement action that the 300A had been certified,” the attorneys observe.

Another thing employers want to avoid is putting away old 300 Logs and never looking back, even if new information comes to light about injuries recorded on those logs. However, OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations require employers during the five-year retention period to update OSHA 300 Logs with newly discovered recordable injuries or illnesses, or to correct previously recorded injuries and illnesses to reflect changes that have occurred in the classification or other details.

This requirement applies only to the 300 Logs and as a result, technically there is no duty to update 300A Forms or OSHA 301 Incident Reports.



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One day you might just need it – CPR/First Aid Training

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes


Anyone can learn CPR, are your employees trained to save a life? 

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

CPR classes are a great team building opportunity!


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Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment


For companies maintaining or considering emergency shower and eyewash stations, there are two key standards to remember.

The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment is an essential resource—visit ISEA’s website to order it. This important consensus standard outlines the minimum equipment performance criteria for this equipment. It specifies flow rates, water temperature delivery, testing, and much more.

Z358.1 is the leading international standard for implementation of eyewash and shower equipment. On the standard’s page on its website, ISEA points out what a wide range of industries need to install and maintain this emergency equipment, listing “manufacturing and processing facilities, construction sites, laboratories, medical and healthcare offices, refineries and other workplaces.”

The other key standard is OSHA’s first aid standard, the one that explains the requirement for certain facilities in those and other industries to install shower or eyewash equipment. OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.151(c) says, “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

End users frequently ask what constitutes “immediate use.” Fortunately, ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 answers this question: It specifies that showers and eyewashes should be located within 10 seconds’ travel distance from a hazard. As Speakman Company’s Imants Stiebris explained in an article in the July 2018 issue of this magazine, “While in existing facilities it is fairly easy to measure 10 seconds with a stopwatch, engineers and architects who are designing facilities do not have this luxury; all that they have to work with are blueprints. To help these design professionals, the Z358.1 standard suggests that 55 feet is a distance that most persons can travel in 10 seconds or less. The victim’s physical condition and potential obstacles must still be taken into consideration.”

Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment

The shower and eyewash units should be on the same level as the hazard requiring their use, in order to eliminate trips and the need for the affected worker to climb up or down. The units should be installed in a well-lit area and identified with a sign; if shut-off valves are installed in the supply line for maintenance purposes, the employer should prevent unauthorized shut off of the water supply.

The Z358.1-2014 standard also directs that the water temperature delivered to this equipment be “tepid,” which is defined as being between 60 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so that the affected worker will be able to withstand the continuous flow for 15 minutes without the risk of scalding or hypothermia.


Employee Training and Equipment Testing
Shower and eyewash companies say there are six interrelated areas for managers of employers’ eyewash and shower programs to get right: performance, use, installation, testing, maintenance, and training.

Employees must be trained to hold their eyes open during the flushing process. All employees also should be trained on how to use the emergency equipment fixtures before they handle hazardous chemicals.

Showers should deliver at least 20 gallons per minute for a minimum of 15 minutes; for eyewashes, the required minimum is 0.4 gallons per minute. The equipment must activate in 1 second or less and then continue to operate hands-free.

Experts recommend designating one person as responsible for inspecting, operating, and documenting findings weekly for the shower, eyewash, and combination units and drench hoses, but for large facilities with multiple units, they recommend having a contractor or vendor do these tasks, in order to eliminate inconsistent checks because of vacations, sick days, etc.

Contractors should be familiar with the ANSI standard and be able to give a detailed report on any problems. The weekly check ensures flushing fluid is available at the correct temperature, pattern, and flow and also clears the supply line of sediments and minimizes the risk of microbial contamination caused by still, sitting water. During activation of plumbed showers, the equipment is to be checked for any visible damage, leaks, rust, and obstructed flow; the inspector is to ensure that spray nozzles are protected from contaminates and that protective caps and covers deploy easily, and the equipment continues to run until it is turned off.

Self-contained (gravity-fed) showers must be visually checked weekly to determine whether the flushing fluid needs to be changed or replenished, and they must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. All emergency showers must be inspected annually to make sure they meet the ANSI Z358.1-2014 performance requirements.



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What to Do in the First 30 Minutes of a Worker Injury

Letting employees know you care is the key to reducing costs and instilling a positive safety culture

What do you in the first 30 minutes of a worker injury? Do you have a plan?

Workplace injuries are a major cost for employers, and mitigating the incident from the moment it happens can have lasting effects, Ken Wells, president of Lifeline Strategies, told attendees at Safety 2018 in San Antonio.

At a cost of $60 billion per year to companies across the United States, action should be taken immediately. The most important thing is to take care of the worker and get him/her the help they need.

“You need to make sure the worker message is, ‘we’re going to take care of you, and you’re going to be okay,'” Wells explained.

There are 10 steps a safety manager should take after an injury occurs. View the slideshow to see what Wells said should be done.

#1 – Have a plan and work the plan

#2 – Let the worker know you will take care of him/her.

Worker perception influences injury severity and cost. Workers who believe the company is looking out for him/her are happier, more productive and will remain calmer during an incident.

#3 – Do an initial diagnosis.

Separating the symptoms versus the pain the working is experiencing is important, Wells said. Ignoring the pain can have lasting effects.

#4 – Administer first aid.


  • Class A kits are designed to handle the most common types of workplace injuries (think papercuts in the office)
  • Class B kits are designed to handle injuries in high-risk and more complex environments (think exposure to chemicals, high/low temperatures and moving parts)

Then, there are four types of kits, which help designate the portability and durability of the kit: Type I –Indoor (mountable), Type II – Indoor (portable), Type III – Mixed Use (mountable, portable, water-resistant) and Type IV – Outdoor (portable, water-resistant, highly durable).

#5 – Calm the worker

Calming the worker is important to reduce the stress he/she is going through

#6 – Control hazards that caused the injury if needed.

#7 – Get help quickly if needed

#8 – Have a manager accompany the worker to the clinic or hospital


#9 – Follow up after the incident

#10 – Complete case management

Case management is important because one-third of patients do not follow the treatment plan, Wells says.

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OSHA Using Drones to Inspect Employer Facilities

Although many employers may not be aware of it, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now using drones to conduct safety inspections of employer facilities, but only if the employer consents. 

OSHA’s use of drones requires consent of the employer, who may be wary of granting it due to under-developed guidelines.

During 2018, OSHA reportedly used drones with cameras to conduct at least nine inspections of employer facilities after obtaining permission from the companies’ management. The drones were most frequently deployed following accidents at worksites that were considered too dangerous for OSHA inspectors to enter, including an oil drilling rig fire, a building collapse, a combustible dust blast, an accident on a television tower and a chemical plant explosion.

Early in 2018, OSHA issued a memo to its staff formalizing its use of drones for inspection activities, ordering each of the agency’s 10 regions to designate a staff member as an unmanned aircraft program manager to oversee training requirements and evaluate reports submitted by drone teams.

The memo sets forth the parameters OSHA must follow when using drones, including the fact that the employer must agree to their use. It also reveals that OSHA is exploring the option of obtaining a Blanket Public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones nationwide.

Because employers must grant the agency permission for it to conduct the flyovers of their facilities, their expanding use puts employers in an uncomfortable position, some attorneys note, observing that OSHA’s use of drones has the potential to expand its violation-finding capabilities during any inspection.

Drones quickly provide OSHA inspectors a detailed view of a facility, expanding the areas that can be easily viewed by an inspector, and significantly slashing the amount of time required for such an inspection if it was conducted on the ground, notes Megan Baroni, an attorney with the law firm of Robinson & Cole.

While most inspections can and should be limited in scope, the fact remains that OSHA can cite employers for violations that are in plain sight, she points out. “Employers must consent to the drone use, but the question remains as to how the scope of an investigation might change if an employer refuses.”

Baroni explains that it is unclear at this point whether the agency’s policy requiring employer permission will survive if OSHA is granted the Blanket Public COA it’s seeking from the FAA to use the drones anywhere in the country.

She stresses that employers should be aware of this policy and the fact that drones could be a requested part of a future OSHA inspection. “Employers may want to give some thought to their facilities and whether drones can be safely flown without causing damage to equipment or processes,” she says. If an employer allows OSHA to use drones during an inspection, she recommends they consider getting involved from the outset in the development of the flight plan and attempt to get copies of any data that is collected.

Drone Use Will Increase

John S. Ho, an attorney with the law firm of Cozen O’Connor, also believes the use of drones in OSHA inspections is likely to increase, and he believes that raises some novel issues that need to be considered by employers.

“Until some of these issues become more fully developed and depending, of course, on the specific facts, drones may present a situation where the employer might consider going against conventional thinking and err on the side of withholding consent,” he advises.

It is well-settled that an employer can generally require OSHA to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite, Ho explains. Although determining whether to do this is always a fact-sensitive analysis, he says conventional thinking suggests that the better course is usually to define the scope of the inspection with the OSHA inspector as opposed to requiring a warrant.

Conventional strategy in responding to an OSHA inspection also includes the practice of the authorized employer representative accompanying the inspector, essentially mimicking the investigation This includes taking the same pictures, measurements and other actions so the employer essentially possesses the same data as the inspector gathered during the walkaround. When a drone is used it becomes extremely difficult to accomplish.

If the employer decides to acquiesce to OSHA’s request, Ho’s recommendation coincides with Baroni’s advice, saying if the employer considers reaching an agreement with OSHA, it should include the specific flight plan to be used, agreeing that all photographs will be promptly shared and have the authorized representative observe the drone’s operation.

However, Ho warns that even if the scope of the inspection is defined, citations generally still can be issued targeting recognized hazards whenever they are found “in plain sight.” He also says it seems likely a drone equipped with a camera might capture more hazards in “plain” sight than a traditional walkaround where the inspector is usually directed to the site of an accident by the most direct route.

In addition, there is a danger that a company’s trade secrets may be exposed to the OSHA drone images. He urges employers to make sure this issue is addressed and answered by OSHA before giving consent for drones in their facility.

The bottom line is that OSHA’s use of drones is not going away and is likely to expand from worksites that are considered too dangerous for physically examinations by inspectors, to greater use in more routine facilities’ reviews. In facing that possibility, it is the employers’ job to make sure they are ready when that day comes.


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Is your team CPR ready to save a life?

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes

 Anyone can learn CPR, is your firm ready to save a life? #cprreadytosavealife

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

CPR classes are a great team building opportunity too!

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You may no longer be more likely to go into cardiac arrest on Monday morning, study says

The most common time to experience sudden cardiac arrest could be changing, according to new research.

“The dogma — in fact, this is everywhere, in all the textbooks about sudden cardiac arrest — [is that] the most common time period for people to have a sudden cardiac arrest is early in the morning,” said Dr. Sumeet Chugh, one of the authors of the study published in the journal Heart Rhythm.
Chugh, Price Professor and associate director of the Heart Institute and director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Cedars-Sinai, and his co-authors used the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study to look at 2,631 cases of sudden cardiac arrest.
Of those incidences, the most commonly reported time was the afternoon, when 31.6% of cases happened. Only 13.9% happened in the early morning, 27.6% in the morning and 26.9% in the evening.
The researchers looked at sudden cardiac arrest, an electrical malfunction in the heart, rather than heart attacks, which are blockages, with the understanding that both can happen at the same time.
For Chugh, there were a few ways to explain this change in peak times. Among them is increased accuracy in observations of the timing of the events. Also, treatment is changing for people who experience or could be at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, and medications or other treatments could be affecting their peak times.Another factor may be the shift to a more 24/7 culture.
“Our hypothesis is that in the last decade or two decades, we’ve really changed the way that we behave as human beings. We’ve changed the way that we work. We are constantly wired,” Chugh said. “I would call it an ‘always on’ existence. A lot of people are working all the time, or they’re tied to, or tethered to, a smartphone, almost every instant of the day, sometimes at night.” Others have also considered the idea that new technology could play a part in potential changes in the most common times for cardiac arrest events.
“Maybe because we are constantly working, connected, living in a 24/7 culture, that maybe that’s part of the reason things are a little bit different now. Of course, we don’t know that for sure. This is all observational,” said Dr. Comilla Sasson, vice president of emergency cardiovascular care, science and innovation at the American Heart Association.
Sasson, who was not involved in the new research, said its findings were not necessarily “surprising,” as previous research has had similar results, such as a higher number of cardiac arrests during daytime hours. However, she suggests that this research could mean “we are getting better, hopefully, at capturing when a sudden cardiac arrest event is actually happening.
“The lows are still the lows in terms of the timing, and I think for me, that’s really the take-home point,” she said “There is something to be said about our bodies’ natural circadian rhythms, and I think this tells us that there is something that happens to our bodies overnight.”
Chugh’s research also suggests that Monday may no longer be the most common day of the week for sudden cardiac arrest.

Do women heart attack patients fare better with female doctors?

“Where all previous studies had shown that Mondays were the worst day for sudden cardiac arrest, we couldn’t find that peak either,” he said. When it came to the most common day of the week, the only trend researchers saw was a low number on Sundays.
Sasson believes that research like this can help in two ways.
“I think it helps us plan from an emergency medical services perspective, so when hospitals and primary and first responders need to be thinking about making sure we are staffed appropriately to account for this variation,” she said.
Her second reason is more personal. “I think we need to think a little bit more about … the changes in the way we live, work and play, in terms of our 24/7 culture, [and] what impact that has on our bodies, and whether that is maybe disrupting some of our circadian rhythms,” Sasson said. “It ultimately could be potentially contributing to the idea that maybe we are stressed all throughout the day.”
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The American Heart Association says that there are more than 35,000 incidences of cardiac arrest outside hospitals in the United States every year.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Preventionestimates that approximately 70% to 90% of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest die before reaching a hospital, and approximately 209,000 people are treated in hospitals for cardiac arrest yearly.

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CPR Saves lives at Food 4 Less

Medford, OR. Fire-Rescue honored four distinct community members, as well as local business, Food 4 Less, on Thursday for their heroic and fast-acting efforts that saved two lives in December.

Over the Christmas holiday, two separate incidents that both involved people going into cardiac arrest, happened a week apart at the same Medford Food 4 Less. According to Medford Fire-Rescue, both patients required a “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED).”

The first incident, on December 22nd, began as a reported car crashing into the Food 4 Less building. Several employees and a customer moved quickly to check on the driver and realized she was not responsive or breathing.

They called for help, turned off the car, and pulled her out to begin CPR. One of the employees ran inside the building to retrieve the closest AED. The first arriving Medford Police officer on-scene assisted with CPR until Medford Fire-Rescue firefighters arrived to relieve them. “We happened to be walking by going in shopping and just rendered care to her as we saw fit to what’s going on,” Cliff Maris, local United States Postal Service employee said.

Maris has a history of valiant acts and medical training from his six years in the air force as a Medical Evacuation Specialist 452nd, who served during the first war in Iraq. Maris said helping and taking care of people are the two reasons that motivated him to join the military. “It’s just the training we had in the military that [tells us to] go to it and then take care of the problem instead of running away from it,” Maris said.

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“Due to the rapid and effective CPR performance, the patient arrived to the hospital with a pulse, and a chance,” said Melissa Cano, Emergency Manager for Medford Fire-Rescue.

A week later on December 28th, a Food 4 Less employee was alerted of an unresponsive person, hunched over on a bench. The very same employee who assisted in the previous week’s incident again responded, and was instrumental in the life-saving efforts. They acted swiftly: calling for help, starting CPR, and even issuing a shock from the store AED before the first responders arrived.

“Both incidents are a true testament to the willingness of those in our community to help a person in need,” said Cano. “Medford Fire-Rescue is not only proud to recognize these individuals, but highlight the importance of being properly trained in CPR. Every community member can potentially assist others, and even, save a life.”


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