We work with Florida Hotels, Resorts, Country Clubs and Restaurants providing CPR, AED, First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens Safety Training for your staff at your Florida business. Please call us at 561-762-0500 to learn more about how we can help keep your staff and your customers safe and keep you out of the headlines.
The hotel swimming pool, one of the first stops for many people vacationing in the sunshine state. The warm blue waters are a major draw to the vacationing Florida tourist but a major liability to hotels and resorts, especially when the staff is not properly trained how to respond to a drowning victim. Below are just a few of the headlines regarding Florida hotel drowning. These accidents are unfortunate, and the subsequent media attention definitely not what any hotel operator wants.
August 17, 2009 the headlines read, “Man drowns in hotel pool.” Apparently a man on vacation in Vero Beach Florida drown in the hotel swimming pool.
Jun. 27, 2009 the headlines read “One Person Drowns in Pool at International Plaza Resort & Spa, Orlando, Florida.” Apparently a worker from the hotel in the International Drive tourist corridor drowned after accidentally falling into the pool according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
March 22, 2009 the headlines read “4-Year-Old Girl Drowns At Lakeland Hotel Pool.” Apparently a 4-year-old girl died after she fell into a pool at a Lakeland Florida hotel and was believed to have drowned according to police reports.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years in the United States.
According to the CDC, Florida had the 3rd highest overall unintentional drowning death rate in the United States in the 5 years between 1999 and 2003 and Florida had the highest unintentional drowning death rate of toddlers ages 1-4 in the United States during that same period.
1. What can hotel managers do to improve safety and reduce liability? In addition to lifeguards and pool attendants you need training, training and more training. The safety training the hotel staff receives can often be the difference between life and death in many medical emergencies such as drowning, choking, cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke and a variety of other medical emergencies. Preparing for these accidents, knowing what to do and how to act quickly can turn a bad accident into a life saving celebration.
2. How often should CPR and First Aid training occur? The old expression use it or lose it comes to mind. The American Heart Association CPR AED and First Aid certification cards are valid for a period of 2 years. Every 2 years may be sufficient for the actual training classes but safety drills, similar to the fire drills we had in school should be conducted on a regular basis. These drills apply what was learned in the classroom to real life scenarios that can occur at the hotel.
3. What can I do to improve the safety of my staff? Quick access to the proper PPE – Personal Protective Equipment is a must for your staff. Your PPE should include medical exam gloves, a CPR Mask, eye protection, biohazard bag, sharps container and a face mask. These are relatively inexpensive and should be placed throughout the hotel to allow quick retrieval for use in the event of a medical emergency.
4. What about a first aid kit? A good first aid kit is very important however it does not necessarily mean signing an expensive service contract to fill your wall mounted cabinet with overpriced bandages and aspirin. In fact, I discourage having OTC medications in a business first aid kit. Keeping it simple is often best. In addition to your PPE listed above you will want bandages, gauze, medical tape and an assortment of band aids in various sizes. Depending on the size of the property and the training of your staff the number of first aid kits and the items you include in your first aid kit will vary.
5. Should I purchase an AED – Automated External Defibrillator? Yes. An AED is a very good thing to have in any public building. Why, because AEDs save lives and are very safe to use. An Automated External Defibrillator or AED is a portable, battery operated electronic device about the size of a laptop computer. The AED automatically diagnoses if someone is in cardiac arrest and is able to treat the patient by an electrical shock. AEDs are designed to be simple so that anyone can use one. So simple that I often start my CPR AED classes by selecting someone from the class that has never seen an AED and I ask them to demonstrate how to use an AED by following the AEDs voice instructions. To date, the youngest person to effectively demonstrate the AED in one of my classes was only 9 years old!
Without an AED the chances of surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside of a hospital setting are very small – less than 5%. However, if the AED is applied to the victim within the first couple of minutes their odds increase to about 70% - 90%.
6. What other problems should hotel staff train for? Hurricane season is upon us and hurricanes present many unique problems for Florida hotel and resort managers. One of the major problems both during and immediately after hurricanes is the number of injuries that can often overwhelm the local EMS system as well as the local hospitals. Hotel staff trained in basic First Aid and CPR can administer emergency medical care until EMS arrives. Under normal conditions typical response times are 8-12 minute. During and immediately following a hurricane response times could be much greater.
Preparing your hotel and your staff for medical emergencies is like buying insurance, only a lot less expensive. You are increasing safety while reducing liability and best of all the costs associated with these safety programs are relatively low.
Keith Murray, the owner of The CPR School, LLC is a former Florida Firefighter EMT who consults with Florida businesses regarding safety and risk management issues. To learn more about CPR AED and First Aid training at your facility and to see which make and model Automated External Defibrillator is best for your needs please visit http://www.TheCPRSchool.com or call Keith Murray at 561-762-0500.
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