“That will never happen to me!”
So often when companies offer first aid and safety training at the workplace, employees decline because they can’t imagine ever needing to use it.
Not so at Barrie Hydro.
When Kevin Neil, Health, Safety & Loss Prevention Officer for Barrie Hydro Distribution, decided to offer specific training to all employees, the response was 95% participation.
Good thing, too.
After Gerald Fluge’s very practical training, employees had almost immediate need for what they’d learned. Almost immediately there were two incidents outside of the workplace and one incident actually at the Patterson Rd facility. People jumped into action and in each case, it made a difference.
Mary Rose was at the dinner table with her family when her father’s colour and behaviour gave all signs of a heart attack. She lowered him to the floor and began giving artificial breathing and CPR. By the time the ambulance arrived, her father had regained consciousness.
Later that week, another employee was at the park with her son, playing on playground equipment. When he took a fall, it seemed like a minor occurrence. Other parents at the site felt he’d just twisted his ankle and would be all right. But Tara Johnson paid attention during her workplace training. She immobilized his leg so he couldn’t move it and got him to the hospital.
Turns out her son had fractured his leg and had his mother not secured it, his injury would have been far greater, along with longer recovery time.
There are examples like this after every health and safety course, but Kevin Neil says it’s their association with Gerald Fluge and G&D Services that has been so effective.
“Gerald is a full time firefighter; he’s an excellent teacher and brings real life examples into his classroom,” says Kevin. “In fact, during our training, we had one employee in our building with a medical condition; another employee found him collapsed in the hall way. That employee called for help, kept the ‘victim’ warm and calm and kept talking to him to maintain consciousness. Someone else called 911 and a third person ran to get Gerald in the middle of his health & safety class.
Gerald raced to the scene and was able to actually demonstrate to his students the process that would best protect the ‘victim.’ An excellent teaching opportunity and a lucky event for the fellow with the medical condition!
Kevin Neil says he’s hired a number of health & safety and first aid instructors over the years, but answering a cold call from Gerald Fluge was the smartest thing he’s ever done.
“He turned out to be the most awesome instructor we’ve ever had. Over the phone he seemed to be the type of guy who’d be a good fit for our organization. When I asked if we could meet, he invited me to attend a session he was teaching for another company. His teaching method and presentation is definitely excellent.
“With his fire department experience, he brought real life events and people were glued to his presentation. We have folks around here who are extremely critical of trainers but their comments about Gerald were glowing: “best training we’ve ever had’, ‘class involvement really incredible,’ ‘unbelievable guy who goes above and beyond.’”
“He pretends he’s cut his finger off in the sink and trains people how to care for him and not forget to pack up his finger to go to the hospital with him.”
As a result of the training, Barrie Hydro took a serious stance on the AED issue (automatic external defibrillator) and everyone trained on that too. The company has equipped all 15 of its trucks with AEDs so crews in the field have immediate access to them.
Kevin Neil reports that Gerald has personally trained 107 staff, with the exception of 3 or 4 who opted out of the training.
Thanks, Kevin. Thanks, Gerald.
Gerald Fluge, G&D Services,
Business 734-6249 cell 705 795-5935