Office of Environmental Management

SRS Honors Trainers for Certifying Employees to Help Save Lives

July 9, 2019

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From left, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Dennis Carr with Savannah River Site CPR and first aid trainers Dr. Lisa Sanders, Kevin O’Donnell, and John Raeth.
From left, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Dennis Carr with Savannah River Site CPR and first aid trainers Dr. Lisa Sanders, Kevin O’Donnell, and John Raeth.

AIKEN, S.C. – Three members of the Savannah River Site (SRS) training department recently received awards for their work to certify employees in CPR and first aid who have contributed to lifesaving responses at the site and elsewhere.

Dennis Carr, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the site’s managing and operating contractor, recognized trainers Dr. Lisa Sanders, Kevin O’Donnell, and John Raeth for teaching CPR and first aid classes that helped 30 SRNS employees respond to coworkers, family members, and others in need of assistance since 2013.

Among the SRNS employees trained in CPR and first aid is Tim Cieniewicz, who was working in his front yard one day when he saw a vehicle crash into a home. The driver had fallen from the vehicle and was dragged until the vehicle crashed. Cieniewicz responded, using his training from his SRS certification course to control the driver’s excessive bleeding and direct response actions at the crash scene.

Cieniewicz was recently recognized as an American Red Cross Hero at a ceremony in Augusta, Georgia.

“It is humbling to see the significant number of employees who voluntarily seek out CPR and first aid training and the trainers who strive to provide as many classes as possible,” said Rick Sprague, SRNS senior vice president of environmental, safety, health, and quality. “The work of the SRNS trainers and the compassion of employees frequently come together to save lives. These cases serve as a reminder of the importance of this valuable certification, and those who are committed to teaching the course.”

SRNS trainers certified 2,164 SRS employees in CPR and first aid between July 2018 and June 2019. More than 10,000 people work at SRS.

“There’s no app for CPR, and it’s necessary to have the training when seconds can mean the difference between life and death,” said O’Donnell, a former U.S. Navy corpsman and paramedic.

Trainees in the CPR and first aid certification course also learn how to respond to a person choking and other emergencies.

“CPR classes will give trainees the tools and the confidence they need to transform from the role of bystander to a lifesaver,” said Sanders, a 20-year emergency room physician. “I get excited when I see the lightbulb go on for a student and it’s even more meaningful when we see a trainee respond and save a life. It’s important to know we can help others and protect ourselves in a medical emergency.”

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