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New local business offers first aid training


In an emergency situation, mere seconds can be the difference between life and death. Now, thanks to the efforts of Huntington County resident John Michaels, there is a new option for interested parties to learn about first aid practices that could very well save a life – Indiana First Aid.

Two major parts of Michaels’ background – his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State for corporate training and development, as well as his interest in first aid – mesh well together for the purpose of running a first aid training business. Michaels states that he is very familiar with the American Red Cross certifications for first aid, CPR, Automated External Defibrilator (AED)  and others. He is also a certified instructor with the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and has renewed his certifications several times over the past two decades.

“Life-saving training delivered directly to you” is a fitting slogan for the company, as Michaels offers lessons for companies, churches, schools and others on their property and on their time frame, but will also be offering to host classes for interested parties. Michaels says he “doesn’t want to leave anybody behind” that is interested in learning these important techniques. Indiana First Aid instructors will either travel to a group to train on their schedule, or offer a host site for individuals.

“We travel to different companies to provide these trainings  - that’s ideal for the customers. One of the things that I wanted to incorporate into the company was ease for managers’ scheduling,” Michaels stated. “Especially in a time when people are short on workers, how do you move a second or third shift worker to day shift for a day so they can get this training? It’s a pain and managers already have too much on their plate right now. I would rather go to the site and do the training there, and do it during their normal shifts – so we offer second and third shifts with no extra charge.”

Michaels came to the decision to start a first aid training business after he walked past a list of first responders at his workplace. After analyzing the list, Michaels says that he noticed that some of the names belonged to people who no longer worked for the company. And, of those who were still at the company, he was the only one that had current certifications for first aid, CPR and AED.
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“I started to think – every company has to be going through this right now, with this huge turnover rate,” Michaels said. “Everybody is struggling to find workers and I doubt that many of the HR managers or general counselors have realized that their first responder list is a lot more dwindled. I think most companies are probably at less than half of what they desire for first responders.”
Michaels has had a few instances in his every day life when he has needed to spring into action to help save a life.

“You hope you never have to use it, but it’s a real thing,” Michaels said. “There was a toddler choking, his mother couldn’t clear his airway so I snatched him up real quick and cleared it.”

Another instance was a car wreck where a woman was driving too fast on a snowy day and got t-boned. Michaels was able to stop, grab latex gloves from his car, ensure that the scene was safe and then check the woman for a concussion and ensure that EMS was on the way.

“These skills can be used, and it’s rewarding,” Michaels said. “It doesn’t take much to learn.”
In order to host a revenue-generating activity on his property, Michaels had to approach the Huntington County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) and get a special exception to the property’s zoning.

“I can do CPR on my property, and I can even teach CPR on my property – but because I’m not in a commercial zoning, I can’t charge a penny of revenue to teach these courses until I get a special exception to my zoning,” Michaels explained.

There were criteria Michaels had to meet in order to get the special exception, which included not interfering with the Huntington County Comprehensive Plan, not being injurious to anyone and also not dramatically affecting roadway work. Michaels said that the BZA has approved the application for the special zoning exception, but that there were limits put on it.

In addition to classes through the American Red Cross, Michaels also teaches USCCA classes, including Emergency First Aid Fundamentals and “Countering the Mass Shooter” classes. The first aid fundamentals class teaches more extensive first aid practices, such as how to use a tourniquet, stopping severe bleeding, dealing with major broken bones or other scenarios.

Michaels assures the public that, contrary to popular belief, the “Counter the Mass Shooter” courses are not shooting courses, but instead teach people how to prevent a mass shooter and how to counter a mass shooter without using guns. Michaels says that part of the course includes a case study on the Virigina Tech shooting, in which the shooter actually studied the area and knew he would have at least 11 minutes before anybody with a gun would get onto the campus.

According to Michaels, one classroom that was in the shooter’s path was casualty free because of the barricade those inside made. The shooter decided that the delay they had caused was too much, and moved on – saving those inside from harm.

“There are ways to foil these people without using a gun,” Michaels said. “There’s only so much planning you can do, but you have to try. And it’s not all theoretical. You have to get in motion and actually practice barricading that door.”

Surprisingly, one of the heftiest ballistic protection someone can find in an every day situation is a stack of water bottles, Michaels said. Even with a .50 caliber bullet, the deepest that the bullet will usually go is about a foot deep – and even then, the bullet has to be traveling at a particular angle for it to travel that far. Otherwise, the bullet will take the path of least resistance and ride the surface of the water instead.

Michaels stresses that it never hurts to know too much about first aid – and that companies tossing around the idea of getting an AED should definitely get one.

“A lot of companies see the price tag and they walk away,” Michaels said. “It can be around $2,000, but if you have to give CPR for a couple of minutes (until) an ambulance arrives, that’s like doing push ups the whole time if you don’t have the right technique.”

AED machines have automated instructions for how to help the person in need of medical assistance, and will tell the user what adjustments need to be made as well.

Anyone who is interested in taking a course with Indiana First Aid may call 438-8704 or e-mail For more information, visit