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Emergency Response Team Saves Lives

by Marguerite L.

Every day is a gift for Gary Klinker, a Cisco employee who suffered cardiac arrest and was saved by members of Cisco’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) program.

"If I could vote, I'd give the ERT crew 100 out of 10," Klinker said. "I wouldn't be here without the program—the volunteers saved my life. God bless Cisco for doing this," Klinker said. Approximately 1,500 global Cisco employees and contingent workers volunteer their time to train and respond to a variety of emergency situations through Cisco's Emergency Response Team (ERT). The ERT program aims to ensure the safety of Cisco employees, contingent workers, guests and other people on campus by managing on-site emergencies.

An ERT member may be called away from his or her regular, full-time job at Cisco to respond to an emergency at any time he or she is at work, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Cisco, a HandsOn Network supporter, provides ERT members with the training and supplies they need to perform emergency medical treatment, allowing them to support their communities in a variety of ways outside of the Cisco.

Many of the ERT members volunteer at community events by providing emergency medical care associated with the Red Cross or other external agencies. Other ERT members are Boy and Girl Scout Leaders, volunteer firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's).

In addition to the ERT, Cisco also has a strong AED (automated external defibrillators) program, which Klinker credits with saving his life. Cisco has been recognized by the American Heart Association and the City of San Jose for leadership in developing and implementing both the ERT and AED programs. Their dedication to the effort is proof that ERT volunteers like to give back, both to their work colleagues and the community "Being an ERT volunteer is a great way of giving back," said another ERT team member. "I am a local Boy Scout leader, and this is the kind of training I encourage everyone to take."

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