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Why I Help: Nelson Hartman

Red Cross disaster response and preparedness
They will know what to do to save a life.

Nelson Hartman Jr. is a volunteer instructor for the Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross. He teaches classes on AED/CPR and First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, and professional rescue. He vividly remembers when he taught a particular Child and Infant CPR class, because his sister was in attendance. She absorbed all the techniques he showed the class. Little did she know how valuable her brother’s teaching would be in the near future.

Just a few weeks after taking Nelson Hartman Jr.’s class, his sister rescued a baby.

During a leisurely walk in the park, Hartman’s sister heard adults shouting for help. She ran over to find a baby laying eerily still on a picnic table. His sister applied the techniques that she learned in the Child and Infant CPR class. The baby responded to her resuscitation efforts, and began to breathe normally again.

She told her story to Hartman. Thanks to him, she knew exactly what to do. Hartman is a very firm believer of the “Together, we can save a life” credo. Hartman says that two of his immediate family relatives died of heart attacks when they were relatively young. Apparently no one could effectively help them. Due to this background, Hartman has a strong motivation to teach others how to administer CPR and First Aid so that “they will know what to do to save a life.” He has made it his personal mission to “train as many people as he possibly can”.

Hartman has volunteered with the Red Cross for two decades. He loves that the Red Cross places such value on practical application transference between student and teacher. According to him, the Red Cross is very much a ‘hands-on” organization in terms of training.

“I have had the opportunity to instruct thousands of adults and teens,” states Hartman. He finds such satisfaction in teaching life-saving skills to others at Red Cross sites because face-to-face interaction ensures that the lifesaving actions are done correctly. Witnessing a student performing the correct techniques fills Hartman with a sense of pride, and gives him “peace of mind knowing that the student will physically be able to apply what they’ve learned when faced with an emergency situation.”