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Are You OK? Call 9-1-1

Early last week the my ministry team and I took a (infant, child, and adult) CPR, AED, & First Aid Training offered through the local Red Cross chapter. We did 75% of the coursework online in the weeks leading up to the class, and only had to take a 3 hours “hands-on” course to get certified. It really was super easy, but wish it would have been cheaper.

Some thoughts:

  • I’m not sure why I’ve neglected doing this in the past. It’s weird actually that I’ve been working with kids all these years, and have always relied on others to have CPR training.
  • That 3 hour class ended up being 5 hours. Why on God’s green earth would you bring 4 test dummies when 5 are in the class? Geesh…
  • Did you know this? Now I do and I can’t quite figure out how to reconcile it in my brain. I do want to save someone life, but wouldn’t you get some strange looks if you started doing this to a woman before administering the AED?
  • We were also told to do this before using the AED? And if a shaving kit isn’t nearby…we were told to use the sticky AED surfaces to remove it manually…Again, what kind of looks would I get from the gawking crowd if I started ripping out chest air?
  • After taking the course I really got to thinking how sad it is that we don’t have an AED on our entire campus. Did you know that for every minute a person in cardiac arrest doesn’t get an AED rescue that their chances for survival go down 10%? Scary, huh?
  • We used the breathing barriers during training, and were offered them to buy afterwards. Just a word to those that work with me. If you delay giving me CPR by even 1 second so you can track down your breathing barrier and stay clean, I will come back and haunt you from beyond the grave. Just be warned…

If you’re one of those that works with kids, then please for the love of God go get trained on what to do. I can guarantee you that if you’re the Children’s Pastor and an emergency comes up, you will be the person they look to for help anyways. So bring all your choking babies, head injuries, and broken legs to me; cause I’m ready for it…maybe…perhaps…ok go ahead and bring them.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. What's next · November 18, 2008

    Good job! encourage everyone to take it… and push for your church to buy an AED… the chucrh I went to in the dalls area had one, we never used it, but had two times where I thought we were about to…its a great thing you took it…I’m biased as a nurse but think everyone should!

  2. Cash Clan Japan · November 18, 2008

    Hey, that free chest wax might just do the job to resuscitate someone too!

  3. Matt D · November 18, 2008

    That’s funny. I actually was a certified EMT back in another life, and we never were trained to shave someone, though I guess it makes sense. The bra thing though is a must.

    Hopefully you won’t ever have to do both on the same person.

  4. Gombojav Tribe · November 18, 2008

    >>So bring all your choking babies, head injuries, and broken legs to me; cause I'm ready for it…<<

    What about object lodged in the nose or ear? I'm thinking retrieval skills would come in very handy for a children's pastor.

  5. jabberfrog · November 20, 2008

    I love those classes. Though the statistics are compelling, I have not had success getting an AED on my campus. Are you guys going to pull the trigger on that?

    Hey Matt D… dang, that aint right.