SLOATSBURG, N.Y. - Randi Colton first learned CPR roughly 27 years ago when she was in high school. For the past 10 years she has run her own CPR training business, FitChick CPR.
One of the biggest lessons she has learned over the years doesn’t have much to do with CPR.
“The timing is everything,” Colton said Thursday afternoon.
Colton is a 2016 graduate of the Leadership Rockland program and teaches CPR classes at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J. in addition to running FitChick CPR, which offers First-Aid and CPR training courses, including a Babysitter's Safety Course, for an array of clients.
The business name comes from a few nicknames from Colton's past: growing up, she was labeled “penguin chick” by her friends due to her affinity for the flightless birds; next, she was dubbed “fit chick” by her husband after she began taking fitness classes at Lucille Roberts to meet people after moving to Rockland County.
That name stuck and Colton use it for her personal training, health and nutrition coaching venture, FitChick Fitness, before she found her CPR niche.
In the past 28 days, Colton has taught 21 CPR classes for a mixture of clients. It’s impossible to predict when these life-saving skills will be needed but important to be prepared for when that time comes.
“Everyone should know life-saving skills but a lot of people are afraid to learn. And that is one of my biggest obstacles because people don’t want that responsibility,” to be tasked with saving someone’s life, Colton said.
She added that people often panic in such high-pressure situations and forget what they learned, which is why receiving CPR training once every two years to be certified isn’t enough.
For Colton the first time she administered CPR to someone suffering from cardiac arrest came only a few months ago.
During a visit to the county Office for the Aging in Pomona with her Leadership Rockland group, Colton performed CPR for eight minutes and administered three shocks with an automated external defibrillator (AED) to an employee, who went into cardiac arrest and collapsed in his office, before paramedics arrived, she recounted.
The man was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital but was taken off life support by his family two days later. If it wasn’t for Colton, the family would have received a different type of phone call.
Two months later Colton went back and trained the Office of the Aging staff in CPR. Since the incident Colton is more prepared for something to happen than before. (Colton sat with an AED mounted on the wall behind her at a Dunkin Donuts over coffee.)
Before the incident, when Colton would teach a class, she would preface it by telling everyone you're going to learn life-saving skills "you'll probably never use."
"Well, now I can’t say that. Now I say, 'I’m going to teach you life-saving skills that you may need to use one day. It happened to me,'" Colton said.
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