HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 75th Force Support Squadron Force Development’s Education and Training Center persevered and continued to safely offer several of its required classes to Hill Air Force Base employees.
According to Shelly Scott, lead instructor, in order to keep offering classes, the center limited classroom attendance to a maximum of nine students and a maximum of five students for the cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, class.
Other provisions the center has implemented include social distancing, the closure of the breakroom and water fountains, and routine, top-to-bottom sanitization of classrooms and common building areas.
“We utilize a sanitization fogger throughout the building, to include classrooms on days they are not being used,” said Jason Bertoldie, instructor. “We have built Plexiglas barriers for the CPR rooms in order to separate students while performing CPR. This has eliminated a great deal of unnecessary risk for students and instructors alike.”
Wearing masks were mandatory for instructors and students even before the recent Department of Defense policy implemented Feb. 5, and will continue to be mandatory with one exception during the CPR class.
“Students will unmask only to demonstrate rescue breaths and instructors will remain masked,” said Scott.
The current compression-ventilation ratio for adult CPR is 30 compressions and two breaths.
The Plexiglas barriers which separate the CPR students were built by Bertoldie, using a 3D printer to make the fittings to hold the Plexiglas together, said Scott.
“In times of change, as a team, we innovated in how we made safety a priority,” Scott said. “The timing was fortunate that we were also able to install Smartboards and assembled new desks that would help with social distancing.”
Bertoldie said, “I have learned regardless of the circumstances, our military members and civilian employees here at Hill are willing to go above and beyond to accomplish the mission.”
The changes they have made to keep students safe have become a positive for the center, the instructors have said.
“I really enjoy the smaller class sizes due to the extra attention I am able to give each student,” said Bertoldie. “I think this helps the material taught have more sticking power and gives more meaning to each student.”
Much of the classes not being offered at the moment are because the classes break into small groups for discussion. Scott said they hope to bring those particular soft skills classes back this spring.
“The center continues to be flexible as Department of Defense policies are adjusted in order to continue to support Team Hill’s education, training and development needs,” said Lisa Thompson, chief of training.
The soft skills classes being offered currently are the Basic Excel, Government Writing, and Defense Performance Management and Appraisal Program, or DPMAP. The hard skills classes offered are CPR, Asbestos Awareness, Forklift, Initial FOD, and Back Injury Prevention.
Employees with questions regarding the available courses and the schedule should be directed to their training monitor or supervisor.