This week I learned about a story of heroism at a convention center and a story of tragedy at a hotel in India. Lessons can be learned from both stories.
First, the story of heroism and thanks to the folks at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for sharing it.
Michael and Katherine Diegan, of Daphne, Alabama, were attendees at the “New Orleans Blastoff” volleyball tournament on the weekend of January 14. On Saturday, they encountered an individual outside the convention center who had been jogging in the Pedestrian Park, experiencing a medical emergency. Quickly ascertaining that the man, named Jason Baldwin, was not breathing and was without a pulse, they immediately rendered aid. Mr. Diegan administered CPR, while Mrs. Diegan located and retrieved a nearby AED unit from the Convention Center. Mr. Diegan then successfully used the equipment to revive Mr. Baldwin, who resumed breathing and began to speak shortly thereafter.
Convention Center staff and Paramedic Ryan Satterberg rendered additional aid, helping to care for the man until the arrival of a New Orleans Emergency Medical Services unit, which stabilized Mr. Baldwin and transported him for treatment at Tulane Medical Center.
The Importance of CPR & AED Training
“I have been a runner for over a decade, I have run more than 10,000 miles in my life and on any one of those 10,000 miles, this could have happened. I am blessed to have [Michael and Katherine] there when it did,” said Jason Baldwin, speaking virtually at the Exhibition Hall Authority’s monthly board meeting. “I am hoping that folks are encouraged to get CPR certified, understand what an AED is, or simply just check up on their health.”
There are 47 Physio Control LIFEPAK CR2 AEDs installed throughout the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
“On this particular day, we had more than 13,000 individuals in our facility. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our guests, both internal and external. In this case, being prepared made all the difference,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President. “We could not be more inspired and proud of everyone involved in this incident.”
A Tragedy in India
According to an India Today report, a woman in India died after suffering burn injuries after her Sari caught fire in the buffet line at a five-star hotel. The woman had gone to the hotel for a dinner party. Her sari touched the burning fuel of a chafing dish. She suffered burns within minutes. Hotel staff and others tried to douse the flames, but it was too late.
I have written and posted numerous articles over the years about the dangers of chafing fuel and talked about the environmental consequences of using it. I have also written about safe alternatives to chafing fuel where there is no fuel involved. In my most recent article a year ago, an industry expert told me that upwards of 90 percent of the hospitality industry still uses canned gel chafing fuel to keep food hot and ready for serving groups of people. I read a lot about hotels eliminating single-use plastic these days but single-use cans of chafing fuel? Not at all. It seems clear to me that chafing fuel should be just as great a priority. I don’t recall ever hearing about someone being injured by a plastic water bottle at a hotel.
Accidents happen frequently at hotels and in most cases, they can be prevented. The late Dr. Tony Marshall, an attorney who I got to know over the years, talked often about using “reasonable care”—not doing something that will cause injury to guests, customers, or invitees, or failing to do what will prevent such injury. In the case of the hotel in India, they failed greatly and will certainly pay for their mistake.
Eco-responsibility is greatly intertwined with workplace safety. Honor this woman who died by not using canned gel chafing fuel.
Your thoughts? I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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