For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and more than 25 senior DHS officials today received training in medical emergency preparedness and response by instructors from the American Red Cross.
“Emergency preparedness requires both large-scale planning and personal readiness,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Learning these critical skills is fundamental to our preparedness efforts and the safety and security of all Americans when disasters strike.”
Secretary Napolitano was joined by newly-confirmed DHS Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza, who assisted in leading the session and emphasized personal responsibility for all emergencies in advance of National Preparedness Month in September.
The training covered basic skills essential to helping in an emergency until professional responders arrive. During the two-hour session, Secretary Napolitano and her staff received hands-on training from Red Cross instructors in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic first aid and use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs)—recommended for use in all federal buildings.
This marks the first year the Red Cross has provided this type of training to federal officials in Washington, D.C. Last week, Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and approximately 20 additional DHS senior staff members received the same training.
Red Cross personnel train and certify approximately six million people each year through CPR, first aid and AED courses available daily at 700 Red Cross chapters across the nation.