By Donna KlapakisMay 17, 2018
NAHA MILITARY PORT, Okinawa, Japan -- Members of the 599th Transportation Brigade became a lot more prepared as the unit's first-aid team took training on the road from April 28-May 9.
Traffic management specialist and certified first aid instructor, Jimmy Quilon, and safety officer, Randey Hayes, comprised the team that first presented first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and automated external defibrillator classes to brigade headquarters, then travelled throughout the Pacific to train members of each of the unit's three battalions.
"If a person receives CPR and treatment with an AED within first 5 minutes of cardiac arrest, they dramatically increase the chance of survivability," said Quilon.
According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of the 356,000 people who suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests each year die. However, when performed within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or triple a person's chance of survival. Further, according to the American Red Cross, access to AEDs could save 50,000 lives a year.
"We have trained 118 people so far," said Hayes. "If you outsource to a contractor, we have saved a lot of money by doing the training in-house. The long-term goal is to get a trainer at each battalion, but we don't have that right now, and we needed to get within the requirement.
"The battalions were very receptive with good leadership support," he added. They had very enthusiastic personnel. Once they began the hands-on training, they were really into it."
The first-aid team first traveled to the 837th Transportation Battalion in Busan, South Korea, where they taught classes from April 30-May 1.
Sgt. Maj. La Vaughn Brown, 837th Transportation Battalion senior enlisted advisor, attended the training at battalion headquarters.
"The first-aid training presented by the brigade's safety team was invaluable," Brown said. It helped ensure that our team possesses the right skills for administering medical assistance to a fellow teammate or to anyone in need. This first-aid knowledge received enables us to assist persons who become injured in the workplace, at home, or in public locations with confidence until help arrives."
"The training isn't just limited to on the job," he said. "It's beneficial for everybody, because they can implement it in their everyday lives, whether at home or out in public."
The team's second stop was in Yokohama, Japan, where they trained members of the 836th Transportation Battalion from May 3-5.
"The training provided the 836th Transportation Battalion with the knowledge and confidence needed to respond during a life-threatening situation," said Maj. Christopher Busse, 836th executive officer. "Building readiness is one of our top priorities, and this training is a perfect example of being ready to fight tonight."
The team made their last stop from May 7-8 in Okinawa, Japan, to teach members of the 835th Transportation Battalion at Naha Military Port.
Maj. Steven Taylor, executive officer for the 835th, noted the self-assurance such training gives recipients.
"The first-aid training cements trust and confidence among every member of the battalion to render medical aid when needed," Taylor said, "And it drives home the importance of our mission and the many risks we face operating in Okinawa or anywhere in the Indo-Asia Pacific area of responsibility."
Although only military and emergency essential civilians were required to take the training, all personnel were allowed to attend.
"The importance of getting as many of our battalion personnel first aid certified not only benefits each individual, but the benefits extends to our 'Cargo King' family, and even the community as a whole," said Brown.
"You never know whose life you will save," said Hayes. "It could be your family or coworkers. This is good training for everyone."