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Hot Damn

HOT DAMN #35 — Learning First Aid


As a counterpoint to my usual cynical antics, I’ve committed myself to a weekly, year-long discussion of my life’s joys.  But, never one for the more traditional approaches, I intend to keep things a little off side, a tad outlandish, and always one foot outside of polite company.


Do you know what would suck? Watching a co-worker bleed out at my feet.

As a glass worker in the construction industry, I have to be cognisant of the potential workplace hazards I’m exposed to, particularly the razor sharp glass I handle on a daily basis. Glass cuts, and it cuts quickly and without discrimination.

While I have many scars on my hands, none of my cuts have been serious. In fact, I’ve needed stitches only once in almost fourteen years. But the potential to be hurt far more seriously is certainly there. In my shop, I handle sheets of glass that are between 200 and 500 pounds each; the heavier ones are lifted with a crane, but the lighter ones are just as often lifted by hand. Even just 200 pounds of glass falling on you can kill you . . . or make bloody ribbons of you, anyway.

I once saw a guy feed his thumb through a table saw.  The first aid responder wrapped his thumb in a dirty towel.  No joke.

I once saw a guy feed his thumb through a table saw. The first aid responder wrapped his mangled digit in a dirty towel. No joke.  And did his thumb become infected?  I’m sure you can guess.

It goes without saying, then, that at least a few of us glass workers should be trained as a First Aid responders. This time around, I happened to be one of the ones chosen for training.

Most of my co-workers hate any kind of safety training; me, I kind of dig it. Hell, I’d go back for more if I could.

Halfway through the two day course, I even began to wonder if maybe I should have pursued a career in the health care profession. Could I have been a doctor? What about a nurse?

Indeed, after completing my two days I felt somehow better connected to my friends and family who did chose such a career.

No, I’m not delusional. I know there is a vast chasm between the training I received and the training someone who works in health care receives. A First Aid responder is to a paramedic, nurse, or doctor, what a McDonalds burger flipper is to a five-star, fine dining restaurant’s head chef.

Actually, even that might not accurately convey the disparity between our levels of training.

Still, First Aid tickled my fancy. That has to count for something.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I can now better respond to injuries in the workplace. You still might die, sure, but the dressing and bandage I put over your severed stump of an arm? That, my friends, will look killer.

Did you miss last week’s entry on PRINCE EDWARD ISLANDCatch up here.

For a full list of all HOT DAMNs, click here



  1. Pingback: HOT DAMN #36 — The “HERE IN MY GARAGE” Guy | zs roe - October 3, 2015

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