Medic RX Offers CPR Seminar Designed to Make the CrossFit Coach “Competent and Confident”

November 24, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Medic RX
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Using an AED on an athlete who collapses and appears to go into cardiac arrest is something no affiliate owner ever wants to think about having to deal with.

But the reality is, some do.

It happened at CrossFit Games athlete Andrea Nisler’s affiliate in Roseville, MN last month. And it happened at Tani Mintz’s gym in Evanston, IL in September. And at CrossFit City of Lakes in Golden Valley, MN in August 2021. And at CrossFit Megalodon in Venice, FL in March 2021.

And in each of the above cases, the AED saved a member’s life. 

This is why Joshua Hicks— the medical team lead for Wodapalooza, the Rogue Invitational and the recent CrossFit Games—started The Medic RX, a seminar company that offers The Functional Life-Saver Certification.

The details: The Functional Life-Saver Certification is a one-day course, administered in-person at a CrossFit affiliate, by Hicks and his team, all of whom understand CrossFit. It’s accredited with the American Safety Health Institute (ASHI), thus it can also provide CEU credits. 

  • Half the day is focused on CPR, but it also dives into AED training, gym trauma training, First Aid, and decontamination processes, such as dealing with blood on barbells or post-workout puke.
  • The ultimate goal of the seminar, Hicks explained, isn’t just to educate coaches about the basics of CPR and using an AED. It’s about providing them the confidence they might currently lack when it comes to dealing with potential emergency or First Aid situations that could arise at the gym.

The making of the course: Hicks, a CrossFit Level 2 coach and a CPR instructor with 15 years of emergency medical experience as a paramedic, started volunteering with the medical team at CrossFit events in 2015, and soon affiliate owners started asking him to host CPR classes for their coaches. 

  • “Before you know it, every weekend I’m doing two CPR classes with 30 people and getting people certified,” he said. 
  • And the more CrossFit coaches he trained, the more he realized he needed to create a course designed specifically for CrossFit affiliates, as the traditional CPR course “is pretty general,” he said. 
  • “Frequently with these CPR tests, you’ll (have a question on there) and it’ll say, ‘You’re working at your local nursing home at lunch, and an 80-year-old female patient falls face first into her food.’ That’s not relevant to us…so I thought I could take this certification and I can make it very specifically CrossFit,” Hicks said. 
  • The result was, of course, the creation of The Functional Life-Saver Certification, which he launched at the start of 2022. 

One big thing: For any gym owner who is concerned that getting an AED might cause possible liability issues should, for example, they forget to charge the AED, or should they fail to use it properly, Hicks said it’s still safer to have an AED on site.

  • “Liability lies, not only in improper action, but also in (improper) equipment and inaction, so (if) someone has an AED there, but doesn’t have training or is afraid to use it, or misuses it and causes more damage, then there would be liability. So I kind of understand (the fears). But you also have good samaritan laws and they kind of protect the layman from things like that,” Hicks said.
  • Further, when you put an AED on someone, it will start to record what’s going on with the person’s heart, thus an AED will provide the gym owner a record of that person’s condition until paramedics arrive, and “that also protects from liability,” he explained. 
  • Most importantly, “If they’re down and they’re flat lined, it can’t get any worse than dead,” he added. 

The bottom line: We all hope it will never happen at our gym, but heaven forbid if it does, you want to be equipped, not just with having an AED on hand, but with the “competence and confidence,” Hicks said, to possibly save a life. 

  • “When you’re coaching a class, if someone needs help with a snatch, or someone is doing a gross mis-movement on something, the coach is there, they’re confident in what they’re training, and all the athletes are going to look to the coach for that,” Hicks said. 

“It’s the same thing with an emergency situation. The first person they’re going to look at for confidence in the situation, and to calm the atmosphere, is going to be the coach, so the more competent and the more confident that we can make these coaches…the better these outcomes are.”

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