Barbara Brant, a Red Cross instructor for the last 25 years, happily agreed to be featured on WCNC’s Charlotte Today program on Tuesday. She walked through First Aid and CPR for infants, demonstrating how the everyday person can save a life.
The next day, on Wednesday, Barbara found herself in a situation where she had to put her skills to use. She was out to lunch with some Red Cross colleagues. On her way back to the office, she saw an ice cream truck engulfed in smoke.
Barbara and her peers pulled over, and they found the driver standing outside the vehicle talking on the phone. They ensured that first reponders had been called and proceeded to administer First Aid.
“He was sweating profusely, shaking and told me he had a history of a heart condition,” Barbara said. “He had inhaled some of the smoke fumes as well.”
She helped the driver into her air-conditioned vehicle and loosened his shirt. She began to wipe him down with a damp towel.
“His breathing became shallow and fast, his eyes got a glassy stare and his skin color began to get a grayish color,” Barbara recalled, noting his heartbeat was irregular. She continued to wipe him down, encouraged him to take deep breaths and exhale them slowly.
Gradually, the driver began to breathe normally and his skin color began to stabilize. When the EMT arrived on the scene and checked him out, his vitals were back in the normal range and his heart rate was no longer irregular.
The driver remained in the vehicle until he felt he could safely walk with Barbara’s assistance back to the police vehicle and remained there until someone from his company could pick him up.
“With the right training, anyone can help during an emergency,” Barabara said. “Situations like this are exactly why it’s important for everyone to get trained in First Aid and CPR.”