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Clark adds another dimension to restaurants' staff training

Partners with Greer FD in CPR instruction

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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"I’m not saying we're totally prepared now, but we are better prepared."

Jason Clark

BIN112 Owner



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Captain Josh Holzheimer will be honored in May for

Jim Fair

Captain Josh Holzheimer will be honored in May for "saving" a life using his CPR training. It's the second year in a row Holzheimer, of the Greer Fire Department, will be honored. He is the department's training officer.

Also read: Capt. Josh Holzheimer among firemen honored for "saves".

A routine evening at BIN112 was interrupted last November when a customer, celebrating his wife’s birthday, leaned against a wall and said he believed he was experiencing a heart attack.

Actually it was cardiac arrest. “Everybody reacted properly and professionally,” said Jason Clark, owner of the fine dining restaurant on Trade Street. Greer EMS responded quickly and the customer survived neurologically intact – meaning he lived to leave the hospital with no effects from the episode.

“We told our customers we were stopping the cooking for a couple of minutes, a customer is having some difficulty and an ambulance is coming,” Clark said.

That episode prompted Clark to call Greer Fire Marshall Scott Keeley the next day seeking instruction on CPR. “We were not prepared for our customers,” Clark said. “I’m not saying we’re totally prepared now, but we are better prepared.

“I went through 911 working in a law firm in Washington, D.C., 1.5 miles from the White House. I didn’t know how to save someone’s life.”

The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest outside a hospital was found to be twice as high when bystanders performed continuous chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth breathing than when bystanders performed standard CPR, according to a study produced by a University of Arizona College of Medicine research group.

Clark and five key employees took a compression only-CPR course this month that assures at least one staffer at BIN112 or The Strip Club 104 Steak House, Clark’s other downtown restaurant, are on site to handle these type emergencies in the future.

Captain Josh Holzheimer, Greer Fire Department Training Officer, and Aaron Dix, Greenville County EMS Training Coordinator, are applauding Clark’s reaction.“I thought this was a great stance by our local businesses taking a stand to make it safer,” Holzheimer said. A downtown business group reportedly has inquired of organizing a CPR class.

Holzheimer, for the second straight year, will be honored, May 10 at Embassy Suites, for “saving” a person’s life who experienced cardiac arrest. “We work so hard in our career and training. Overall our job is very rewarding,” Holzheimer said.

The save rate for Greenville County cardiac arrest victims, who are neurology intact, has increased each of the past three years – 2010 (14 saved, 4.5 percent), 2011 (36 saved, 8.0 percent), 2012 (40 saved, 11 percent). The national “save” percentage is 4.5 percent.

Chest compression has changed CPR training the past two years and has reduced the time for citizens to learn the life-saving technique. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is mostly performed by first responders.

Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. Each year, nearly 360,000 emergency medical services-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.

“It’s very difficult to get a pulse back and it’s important chest compression begins immediately,” Holzheimer said. “Oxygen remains in the blood that is in the body.” The compression helps squeeze blood out of the heart.

“Citizens have to perform chest compression to give a person a chance to survive,” Dix said.

"The rule of thumb is when you see a person down you call 911 and start chest compression right away,” Holzheimer said. “Our protocol is we stay with a person 25 minutes with chest compression and get them in the ambulance.”

“The stigma of the possibilities of getting a disease from mouth-to-mouth has been small. It was the X-factor. EMS has apparatus to clear the breathing passages,” Dix said. “Ventilation is essential to survive.”

The keywords EMS personnel listen for during 911 calls are “chest pain” and “cardiac arrest”. “It’s time to focus and think about our protocols and what we’re supposed to do,” Holzheimer said.

Dix said his agency is aggressive seeking venues to educate citizens on CPR. “We find try to find a willing audience, like games, neighborhood functions and community events. We need more public awareness. It only takes a couple of minutes to learn CPR and when a family member learns they can teach it to others.”

The cost of the class is $15 with the book, Holzheimer said. One of the more entertaining instructions is on YouTube. It’s a humorous but effective video Holzheimer said he uses in his ttraining classes.

“Businesses should not be afraid of paying the cost for CPR training,” Clark said. “CPR has changed, it’s about keeping people alive, keep the blood flowing.”

Clark’s staff also learned the Heimlich maneuver, an emergency technique for preventing suffocation when a person’s airway becomes blocked by a piece of food or other object. “You have to get that food out before you perform CPR,” Clark said.

Clark said he has established a business protocol for such-type incidents. “Get the staff to realize their importance in their role.”

The customer, who had the cardiac arrest, has been back to BIN112. The first time as Clark’s guest.

“I told him he had to come back and celebrate his wife’s birthday.”

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