By Sandra Zunino
When an accident happens or cardiac arrest strikes, CPR and first aid training may be the difference between life and death. Now acquiring those skills on the Eastern Shore is easier than ever at Keep The Beat CPR & First Aid Training.
Owner and President Jill Hite launched Keep The Beat in St. Michaels in 1995 after she retired from her duties in Montgomery County Fire and Rescue. A career firefighter for 25 years, Jill was passionate about offering a service that would benefit the community. She recently moved the business to Centreville to better serve clients from as far away as the Western shore and Delaware.
The majority of Jill’s clients are healthcare professionals such as dentists, dental hygienists, massage therapists, nurses, doctors and radiologists seeking and maintaining CPR and First Aid Certifications. “Anyone who has a license in the healthcare field must complete CPR training every two years,” says Jill.
Many other jobs including teachers, sports coaches, Scout leaders and boat captains now require these certifications as well.
The American Heart Association (AHA) establishes the guidelines for CPR training and while other organizations also produce training materials, Keep The Beat provides training through AHA. “They are pretty much considered the top in the field,” says Jill.
Keep The Beat is also a training center for American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) as well as the National Safety Council. ASHI is a leading provider of basic and advanced emergency care and resuscitation training programs. The National Safety Council is dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths in the workplace, at home and on the road. Many of Jill’s clients rely on these safety-training models to meet workplace safety requirements.
Jill and her staff not only hold classes at the Centreville facility, they also travel as far as Philadelphia and Northern Virginia to conduct on-site classes. Keeping up with ever-changing CPR and first aid technology and methods, Jill and her staff complete routine trainings to refresh their own certifications.
“The AHA does a major release every five years, which changes their training DVDs and books,” she explains. “It’s all based on new technology and the changing habits of the population.”
As diet and exercise habits have changed over the past 25 years, so has CPR, Jill says. “In the 50s, our heart rates were lower,” she says. “Stress from the economy, job pressures, traffic and the way we eat adversely affect blood pressure.”
Keep The Beat also offers automated external defibrillator (AED) products and training. An AED delivers electrical therapy to a cardiac arrest victim to reestablish the heart’s rhythm. According to Jill, cardiac arrest victims have a 65% chance of survival if a defibrillator is present.
Maintaining a required certification is only one reason to invest in Keep The Beat classes. Jill offers a combination class that includes CPR, first aid and AED use for anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency. “There are just a few techniques to learn that you may never need,” says Jill, “but in an emergency, you will know what to do.”
Investing in these classes is well worth the effort. Jill says she loves getting phone calls from students who used the techniques to save someone. One client recently reported saving her husband’s life when he fell off a roof. “The paramedics and trauma doctor confirmed that if it wasn’t for her quick actions,” says Jill, “her husband would not have made it.”
For more information about Keep The Beat training classes and products, visit www.ktbtraining.net or call 410-758-2022.