Watching a choking customer go from breathless to normal made an impact on Mike Callaghan, an employee with Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches.
Callaghan was hailed to a section of the restaurant by a server whose customer had trudged to an open area to draw attention to herself. The server, acting quickly when the choking woman backed into her, performed abdominal thrusts and the victim recovered. By then, the woman’s young son and the entire Isaac’s staff looked on.
“It was a little nerve wracking. But it worked out.” Callaghan said. The staff learned from that experience, he said, to keep calm, to work as a group and to communicate with each other.
The story hit home the importance of knowing how to respond in an emergency for Callaghan’s colleagues who participated in American Red Cross preparedness training Sept. 11.
Callaghan is a safety representative for Isaacs in Lionville/Exton. He joined other safety reps from Isaac’s locations Lancaster, York, Berks and Chester counties and Harrisburg at the “Be Red Cross Ready” training at Longs Park in Lancaster.
They sat on picnic benches in a shaded pavilion and told Red Cross Training Specialist Kelly Colborn that choking is one of the most common types of emergencies they face at work. Others are injuries from fires, slipping or falling.
As a gentle breeze cooled the listeners, Colburn spoke of burns, saying that ice should never be applied to one. She showed listeners how the Red Cross First Aid app downloadable from redcross.org lists remedies for injuries including choking, burns and falls.
After leading them through the Red Cross Be Ready steps: Get A Kit, Make A Plan, Be Informed, Colburn demonstrated how to perform chest compressions.
Isaacs Senior Manager of People Jessica Fisher said safety training benefits employees and customers.
“It empowers them (employees),” Fisher said. “If they’re in a situation where a customer or employee needs first aid, they have training and can feel confident in taking care of it.”