Licensed EMT and Cardio Partners superstar honored for service
After nearly 10 years on the job, Lead Training Specialist Omar Walker estimates that he’s certified nearly 30,000 individuals in first aid, CPR, and how to use an AED.
More than a little shocked to hear that he was being honored as a Cardio Partners leader highlight of the month, Omar, who is based in Chicago, took a few moments to reflect on the recent polar vortex (“Even when the United States Postal Service suspended deliveries, Cardio Partners bundled up and made the trek in -20°weather to conduct classes!”), and more importantly on his career and achievements as an EMT and training center faculty member.
“I was actually really surprised,” said Omar when asked during a recent phone interview about being recognized by his peers. “Pleasantly surprised, because I’m remote and I rarely see other people in the company. We do regular phone meetings as a company, of course, but I’m pretty much self-sufficient — so sometimes you think you’re flying under the radar, and not necessarily in a bad way!”
“I greatly appreciate it. Traveling all over the place to put on classes and constantly ensuring that the quality of the class is there can be tough. I’m happy to know that the work doesn’t go unnoticed. I’m grateful to Cardio Partners and to Brian Leonard to work for this company.”
(Now director of sales, Brian Leonard founded Cardio Partners Resources, which was acquired by DXE Medical and then rebranded as Cardio Partners in 2017.)
Omar’s day-to-day is anything but routine. Because Cardio Partners offers CPR, first aid, and AED training 24/7, Omar may find himself driving to rural Illinois at 4 am for an early morning session or pulling the third shift for a 2 am class in Indianapolis. He’s also responsible for training and maintaining certified instructors throughout the Chicagoland region.
“I really like being able to share my knowledge. With my EMS background, I’ve done CPR hundreds of times and have seen the benefits of it. It’s so important to have people who are prepared to save a life. As an instructor, it’s gratifying to have people say that they’ve had CPR training for 20 years and that my course is the best training they’ve ever received.”
After losing his 42-year-old stepfather to cardiac arrest, Omar decided to go into emergency medical services and become EMT certified. “If someone had known CPR and those resources were available to him, he would have a high probability of being saved.”
And when convincing people why they should become CPR certified, Omar thinks about his stepfather and points out that, “Statistically, the person they would start CPR on would be a family member or a loved one. That’s 69% of the time it’s going to be your spouse, mom, brother, or child who needs CPR.”
In addition to his full-time commitment to Cardio Partners, Omar still works weekend shifts as an EMT in the Chicago area. He’s seen the power of CPR first-hand:
“One of the times CPR really affected me was one of my very first pediatric patients. We got a call about a non-responsive and not breathing infant. A piece of hard candy had caused him to choke. It took us 4 minutes to get there and there was no pulse. Within 10 compressions the item popped out, the child vomited and then he started breathing.”
Omar still thinks of that child every day. He’d be 15 now and Omar is confident he’s living an active and healthy life.
Thanks, Omar, for being our full-time lifesaver.