A crisis situation can happen at any time, do you know what to do and do you believe you could remain calm in crisis?
This morning started off wonderful, connecting and having insightful conversations on my facebook page. Then crisis hit!
“Lee, something is wrong with Addy.” said my sister with a heightened sense of fear.
As I looked at Addy, I saw she was pale, her lips were going blue, there was a listless look in her eyes, and in moments was unresponsive. My sister said she was playing and that all of a sudden she just collapsed. My two year old niece, 16 year old nephew and my sister arrived from Australia on Sunday night. Our house is a flurry of activity, with Addy running the show. To see her like this scared me to the core.
Thankfully I have first aid training from my days of being a Flight Attendant with WestJet, the adrenalin and quick thinking response kicked in. I immediately dialed 911. On many occasions Addy went completely listless, at one point her eyes rolling back. My sister did an amazing job of remaining calm. The 911 operator was incredible, keeping us focused on Addy and letting us know what to do. The paramedics arrived, and by this time Addy had some color back in her face, she wasn’t as listless and unresponsive. By the time the ambulance arrived at the Children’s Hospital, Addy had gained most of her color back, and was more responsive.
The final result – exhaustion and dehydration, her little body hasn’t done well with adjusting to the jet lag and major time zone difference. She’s now running around the house, back to her normal self.
How Did I Remain Calm in Crisis?
As the quote so wisely states, it’s in the eye of the storm where the cyclone derives it’s power. This has been a long time favorite quote of mine, and it wasn’t till now that I revisited it. I recall a medical emergency when I was a flight attendant at the end of a long day at Edmonton Airport. A customer service agent at the airport came running down saying “We have a medical emergency.” The adrenalin, quick thinking response kicked in. One person froze, at that point I took charge, remaining calm. The old lady we were attending, had stopped breathing. Following the training I received, I delegated the people around with tasks, at the same time doing AR (artificial respiration) on the lady. Sadly the lady passed away in my care as we waited 40 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. Although this incident was very painful for me, I recall with pride the ability to remain calm in crisis, and do everything I could to save this precious woman’s life. I also have knowledge of emergency response as a result of being the Emergency Response Team Manager in the early days of WestJet. How do I remain calm? – in the moment there is nothing else I am aware of, other than the task right in front of me. Now isn’t that a valuable lesson to apply to all life situations.
3 Tips to Remain Calm in Crisis
- Be proactive – You never know what could happen at any time. Learn first aid, be aware of emergency numbers, and no your local emergency number.
- Be present – In crisis there is no time to think of anything else other than the present moment at hand. Remain there – be 100% present, will full attention and the intention to do the best you can.
- Breathe – Be sure to breathe, take deep breaths. Adrenalin is rushing and it’s a natural reaction to begin breathing quite fast. Consciously slow down your breath. Close your eyes for a moment, if you can, and take three deep, aware and nourishing breaths.
Thankfully this story had a happy ending. Think to yourself, especially if you have children – am I equipped to handle a crisis? If not, take steps NOW to learn how. This is as easy as contacting the Canadian Red Cross to find out about First Aid training in your area. If you are not in Canada, google “_____ (city you live in) first aid training.”
You never know when a crisis may hit.