Landfill employees get lifesaving training

Published 8:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2023

Meridian Waste operators of the Lunenburg Landfill and Hauling Company have added lifesaving equipment to protect its employees.

According to Merdian Waste Chief Marketing Officer Mary O’Brien, the company has added automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) first aid training in all of its company operating locations.

“Meridian Waste places great importance on the safety and health of the company’s most vital assets, its people,” said O’Brien.

Currently, the Lunenburg Landfill has nine employees.

O’Brien said Meridian Waste has provided financial and employee training with $15,700 and 113 hours, respectively, to upgrade and protect its team members with the installation

“Investing in superior equipment and training to help save the lives of our team members in the event of an emergency is the best utilization of training and funds possible,” said Walter “Wally” Hall Jr., CEO of Meridian Waste. “Our team members are strong stewards of the environment and serve as allies in providing clean and healthy communities. I am hopeful that we will never have to use the AED equipment and CPR first aid, however, experience has taught me that the best defense is a strong offense. We encourage all employees to be alert, be prepared, and be ready to take action.”

According to O’Brien, there was an incident early this year at the company’s Christiansburg location in which an employee who was accepting a shipment of truck tires suffered a massive heart attack with no warning.

Thankfully the employee survived the medical emergency but this led Meridian Waste to invest in equipment and training.

To ensure the success of the AED installation program, Meridian Waste has implemented, paid for, and authorized staff training time which was provided by The National CPR Foundation (NCPRF).

Upon completion, participants received a two-year certification card, wallet identification card, and a key chain card showing proof of certification.

AEDs are used for individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. The sophisticated, easy-to-use medical device can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States. More than 350,000 people will experience cardiac arrest this year.