by Dennis Dalman
Thirty-one employees of the DeZURIK Co. in Sartell recently completed 48 hours of training to become members of a medical responder team at the plant and beyond.
The training sessions, which took place at the plant, lasted throughout October. Those who participated did their learning mostly during working hours, and DeZURIK paid their wages during training times.
DeZURIK, the maker of specialty valves, has for many decades been one of the economic bedrocks/employers in Sartell. The company started in Sartell and is known throughout the world for its valves, some of them huge in scope. The company has about 300 onsite employees and others who work remotely.
The state-certified licensed responders are now gung-ho ready to respond immediately to any medical crisis or workplace accident on the premises. Their training will allow them to help anywhere outside of the plant if they should witness or be called to an emergency, including right in their own homes with their own family members, guests or neighbors. The responders are now also Red Cross-certified.
“I am so excited for DeZURIK and our employees to have an onsite that will make the difference if a life is on the line here at work, in their homes or in our community,” said Brandy Fischer, DeZURIK’s health-and-safety director.
It was Fischer who suggested the training program, with DeZURIK’s blessing. It is similar to another one Fischer started when she worked in a sugar-beet plant in Renville. After the program was first announced for DeZURIK volunteers, Fischer said she was pleasantly stunned about how employees came forward immediately to join on.
Dubbed the “Code Blue Team,” the responders learned how to respond quickly and help in the wake of heart attacks, diabetic responses, allergenic crises, air-passage obstructions, cases of bleeding and shock, bone injuries, poisoning, childbirth and much more. They learned CPR and how to use a heart defibrillator, among many other skills.
When and if they hear on the intercom “Code Blue” in the plant, the team immediately responds to the scene of the crisis. 911 will also be called immediately. DeZURIK also paid $20,000 to have a fully-equipped first-aid room created in the middle of the plant where people can be assessed and treated.
The teachers of the course were Patrick Boon and Brent Ambuehl of Central Minnesota Health and Training, and DeZURIK medical director Dr. Alan Olson. All those who completed the course can be recertified each year with an additional 16 hours of training updates.
Fischer said she and others are proud of the program and its graduates because they encompass DeZURIK’s core values of thriving together, a “can do” attitude and “high power – low ego.”
The graduates are Rick van den Arend Jr., Lynda Ashcroft, Matt Binsfield, Jim Bowe, Terry Burke, Bryan Burns, Matt Fallon, Matt Fox, Joseph Hartung, Cody Hauser, Jesse Heinen, Adam Imholt, Randy Johnson, Justin Juelke, Pat Kruchten, Ryan Meyer, Ryan Myklebust, Rachael Nieland, Devin Payment, Aishwarya Pillai, Dan Rothberg, Bill Sieben, Brian Spiczka, Conor Swanson, Andy Thorpe, Rich Thul, Darrin Vanderwerf, Ethan Way, Greg Weber, Leo Wehseler and Matt Zdrazil.