Over a high schooler’s senior year, many are laser focused on their future. One Godwin senior decided to both look ahead and better the community around them. 

Godwin senior Emma Crider was part of an internship with the Henrico Department of Fire over the summer and is currently a part of the Tuckahoe Rescue Squad. 

       During Crider’s time in both of these fields, she has been a part of many emergency calls where she would arrive on the scene and administer aid. 

       When Crider arrives at a call, often there are civilians that could be providing aid but are inexperienced or haven’t learned first aid basics and CPR.

       “CPR [performed by a bystander] can increase survival rates by 2x-3x. The human body has about 7 minutes of oxygen storage that can circulate the body with the assistance of CPR before it is depleted. 7 minutes is about the amount of time it takes 911 to get to an emergency,” said Crider.

          Because of this, Crider had the idea to create a Bystander CPR Program to educate people on life saving skills that would allow them to potentially save a life. 

           “In EMS (emergency medical services), one of the worst realities is that by the time you arrive, it may be too late to help the patient. This is why bystander CPR and first aid training is important. Bystanders are able to provide life saving basic first aid that may be the difference between life and death for patients,” said Crider.

             Crider proposed the idea to Jelisa Turner, the coordinator of the CARE Program at the fire department. One of Turner’s goals is to increase public safety education in the county, a sentiment that Crider shares.

            “I came up with this idea while working at Henrico Fire after speaking with Ms. Turner. Ms. Turner’s goal [is] to increase public safety education in the county,” said Crider.

             Crider went to the Henrico County Public School Board on October 14. She presented her ideas alongside Glen Allen senior Marie Vargas. 

 They presented their ideas on how to implement this cooperation between EMTs and civilians in the area. Many others helped and supported Crider and Vargas along the way to try to make this idea a reality.

“I worked with my peer, Marie Vargas, the Henrico County Department of Fire Chief Jeff Farmer, the EMS Coordinator of Healthcare Services, Monty Dixon, the HCPS department of workforce and career development Mac Beaten, Domonique Friend, and Beverly Cocke, the HCPS School Board, and many more,” said Crider.

Even though she has come a long way, Crider faced many challenges. 

“Between my regular work as an EMT, meetings with specialists, presentation creation, college applications, schoolwork, and managing a life outside of work, has been very hard,” said Crider.

                 Even through the hardships, Crider continues to push for this program. 

                 Incidents happen everyday across Virginia , which is why Crider believes everyone should learn the basics of first aid and CPR. 

              “You never know when you may have the opportunity to save a life. It happens every day – in places you wouldn’t expect. I have been on 911 calls to several different Walmarts, hotels, stores, permanent residences, schools, and workplaces,” said Crider.

              From public speaking to time management, Crider has honed many skills while creating this program. She has also become certified as a CPR and First Aid Instructor during the process.

         “I created this program to offer a way for citizens in Henrico County to easily access basic CPR and first aid training at a low cost and  time commitment,” said Crider.

        Crider understands that this program will not be with her forever though. She wants this program to be implemented and to continue to expand even after she graduates and moves onto college. 

She is currently working alongside other passionate individuals at the ACE center to recruit others that share that passion for teaching first aid and CPR. The work she has put in for this program has allowed her to make many connections and gain skills in life and the medical field. 

       Crider encourages everyone to learn basic life-saving skills  so may one day save someone’s life if they have to. 

“You never know when you may have the opportunity to save a life [so learn basic CPR and first aid skills],” said Crider.

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