There are many people whose occupations require them to be certified in CPR and first aid.

But even those whose vocation doesn’t demand such certification can benefit from such training as they might someday find themselves in a situation where knowing those skills could save someone’s life.

“I think the worst feeling that a person can ever experience is the feeling of hopelessness when someone is down and they don’t know what to do,” said Ennis resident Lisa Lytle, owner of Life Support Training.

“This (CPR and first aid training) gives them a valuable skill that they can utilize until EMS arrives. Just starting the process may be what they need to save a person’s life,” Lytle said. “I have (former students) call me … where they’ve saved someone’s life. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that they stepped up and did what they were trained to do and saved that person’s life.”

Richard Ellis, Waxahachie firefighter and owner of Life Safety Educator, agrees.

“Being trained in first aid and CPR is important because the sooner that someone is able to get help, the greater the chances of their injury being less life threatening and the greater their chances of survival,” Ellis said.

As Waxahachie ISD head athletic trainer, David Bowdoin’s occupation requires that he hold certifications in CPR and other first aid procedures.

Several years ago, when his twin sons were born prematurely, those skills became a requirement in his personal life as well.

The hospital required that Bowdoin and his wife receive special training prior to taking their newborns home from the hospital, skills which he later used to save the life of one of his sons, who has special needs.

At the age of 1, Bowdoin’s son developed respiratory arrest and then went into cardiac arrest, at which time Bowdoin performed lifesaving CPR.

“It’s very important,” said Bowdoin of CPR and first aid training, who points out that anyone – not just parents who find themselves in a situation similar to his own – can benefit from knowing these special skills.

“Anybody could benefit from the education because you never know what situation you could be placed in. You could be in a shopping mall and someone goes into cardiac arrest,” he said. “If you know how to begin the CPR process, you could actually help save someone’s life.”

Men and women employed in industrial settings, those who work as childcare providers or who become foster parents are among those required to have such training.

“I’ve also held classes for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, YMCA staff and high school students in the health occupations program,” said Lytle, 45, who started teaching CPR when she was 17 and still in high school.

Lytle attended EMT school at Navarro College while still a high school student during the day. For most of the time since, she has been employed as an EMT or a police officer that was EMT cross-trained or a CPR and first aid instructor.

“I started my company, Life Support Training, in 1988 when my son was a baby and I wanted to do something that I could be home with him a lot,” Lytle said.

In addition to teaching CPR and first aid classes, Life Support Training also holds training in automatic external defibrillator and blood-borne pathogens and a class for persons working with infants. The class covers shaken baby syndrome, sudden infant death syndrome and the development of a baby’s brain.

Life Support Training also offers CPR and first aid classes in Spanish. For more information, visit

Ellis, who has been in fire service for more than five years and has worked as a firefighter with Waxahachie Fire Department for the past three years, started his own company, Life Safety Educators, two years ago.

“I teach CPR and first aid classes to nurses and other health care professionals, childcare providers and foster parents,” said Ellis, who has also held training for Boy Scouts working to earn a first aid merit badge.

“I got my start in the Boy Scouts as a 15-year-old camp counselor at Boy Scout camp and taught first aid merit badge,” Ellis said. “CPR is an important skill to learn, whether you are a teacher, a health care professional or a parent. You never know when you might need to use those skills.

“Taking the time to spend a day to learn these skills might save someone’s life some day,” Ellis said.

For more information, call Ellis at 469-585-7009 or visit or

Life Safety Educators provides courses in basic CPR, CPR for professionals and first aid and can tailor the class to the audience, such as an industrial setting or childcare environment. Topics addressed in a basic first aid class may include signs of shock, what to do for bleeding, broken bones and in environmental emergencies such as hypothermia, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and allergic reactions. The Heimlich maneuver is usually covered in the CPR class, as well as how to use an AED and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke.

Life Quest is another service that provides CPR, first aid and other safety training to groups and organizations such as the Ellis County Foster Parent Association. Call Life Quest at 817-222-9440 for more information.

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