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PA Guard members certify in CPR

By Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Keeler | April 17, 2020


FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Airmen and Soldiers from the Pennsylvania National Guard were put through multiple tests to become American Red Cross certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, at Fort Indiantown Gap on April 13, 2020.

“Communication is the key,” said Sgt. Arica Carbaugh, training noncommissioned officer and medical instructor with the Medical Battalion Training Site. “You’re going to get tired, so maintaining the flow with your partner is key.”

To become certified, the troops need to pass a written evaluation and practical exercise.

Sgt. 1st Class Jordan Purcell, patient administrator for Pennsylvania Task Force Fort Indiantown Gap, opened the class by discussing the steps and proper CPR procedures.

The next portion of the class was the actual demonstration on adult and infant mannequins. Carbaugh and Sgt. Danielle Farber, an instructor with the MBTS, led the class in the proper steps of performing CPR on the mannequins.

The steps, including making sure the scene is safe; asking if the patient is OK, shouting for help and calling 9-1-1, are required for conducting and passing the CPR evaluation.

“Make sure you are going through each step,” said Farber.

After the demonstration, the troops broke for lunch and a chance to study for the evaluations.

The first test was the written evaluation, comprised of 25 questions to verify that the troops understood the material that was covered in the morning.

The practical exercise consisted with a scenario read by an instructor, and then the service member would have to react: whether that is an adult or an infant decided by the scenario. Working in teams of two, the service members were evaluated on every step of the process as soon as the scenario began.

“Remember how important this kind of training could be,” said Col. Ryan Harris, medical director for Pennsylvania Task Force Fort Indiantown Gap. “This kind of training is preparing for situations that you may well encounter in the field or in your everyday life.”