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Team building centered around life saving

By Julie Matuszewski; photos by Lynn Zahorik

Photo of Members of The Castle Pines Connection staff and elected officials

Members of The Castle Pines Connection staff joined elected officials and staff from the City of Castle Pines for a team building afternoon spent getting certified in CPR and AED training.

Staff from the City of Castle Pines joined forces with The Castle Pines Connection for a team-building event hosted by the South Metro Safety Foundation. The two groups recently attended a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) training class and bonded in the process.

As a work team-building activity, CPR and AED training checks multiple boxes. It can make an already great employee more desirable. More importantly, it can save the life of someone in the community.

Tobi Basile, city clerk for the City of Castle Pines, appreciated being able to perform CPR with a partner during the training. “You don’t realize how fatigued you get performing CPR on someone. South Metro said the average time for fire and rescue to arrive is six minutes. Having a partner really helps.”

Photo South Metro Safety Foundation instructor Erin Loeks

South Metro Safety Foundation instructor Erin Loeks explains that cardiac arrest victim survival rates increase by 60% when a defibrillator is used.

The three-hour class provided informative training in both CPR and AED. Using the AED was very user friendly. “It was simple to use,” said Basile. “The machine literally talks you through the steps you need to take to administer CPR.”

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Approximately 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur while victims are at work, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data. Using a defibrillator on an individual in cardiac arrest increases his/her survival rate by 60%, according to OSHA. “For every minute that passes without CPR or defibrillation, the chances of a cardiac arrest victim’s survival decrease by up to 10 percent.” Victims in sudden cardiac arrest have increased survival rates when care is provided within five to seven minutes including early treatment with an AED.

In emergency situations, many bystanders feel if they are not trained in CPR they are not equipped to assist in any way. That is a false assumption, as we can all help in an emergency situation. Calling 911, grabbing an AED unit and clearing the scene all add value when time is critical.

Photo Castle Pines City Clerk Tobi Basile learning CPR

Castle Pines City Clerk Tobi Basile exhibits excellent technique in her CPR compressions.

Basile worked in the medical field and has completed CPR training 14 times, the last being six years ago. She said, “It is important to get re-certified and find out any changes to the procedure. It is good to keep current. It could save someone’s life.”

South Metro Safety Foundation instructor Erin Loeks explained the changes to the protocols, citing some people’s hesitancy to perform mouth-to-mouth as one reason for change. “Research indicates that the compressions are the most critical part of the process, so now we provide options during training for those who prefer not to give the breaths.”

Training classes are available through South Metro Safety Foundation. To learn more or to book a class, visit



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