CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Georgia, April 11, 2015, By PV2 Michael Chapman – On Saturday April 11, more than a dozen Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) soldiers participated in an American Heart Association first aid recertification course. The course was led by MAJ Bob Surrusco, a member of the G7 Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). MAJ Surrusco is a recipient of the Georgia State Commendation Medal for medical services rendered during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as the Georgia State Distinguished Service Medal for “Operation Healing Hands,” an emergency evacuation of victims from the earthquake in Haiti. During the course, MAJ Surrusco reviewed various scenarios where GSDF soldiers are expected to render first aid and the type of aid that should be rendered. GSDF soldiers should always be ready to perform basic first aid to clear an object stuck in the throat of a conscious casualty, to prevent or control shock, for heat injuries, for frostbite, and for a bleeding extremity. MAJ Surrusco also instructed soldiers in the proper use of gloves, an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen), and an automated external defibrillator (AED).
In addition, soldiers were instructed on the correct way to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Because first aid is a perishable skill, MAJ Surrusco stressed the importance of remaining proficient in this important task. First aid recertification courses such as these are critical to ensuring that all GSDF soldiers are ready and able to serve the people of Georgia at all times.