Nipomo company blends safety education, Internet

Nipomo-based Action Safety Education Inc. has taken workplace safety, mixed in the Internet, and turned the combination into a business.

Eric DeVos, an equine veterinarian and president of Action Safety, saw the need for affordable, quality safety training for his staff, said Nan Bowman, the company's chief operating officer, and an emergency medical technician and safety instructor.


Action Safety was started in October 2004 by DeVos to provide training over the Internet in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, automated external defibrillator, first aid and Occupational Safety and Health Administration-safety, Bowman said.

“Workplace safety is everyone's responsibility - and even small companies have minimum training and planning requirements,” she said. “Our mission is to create a low-stress learning environment in which participants acquire the skills to act quickly and effectively during an emergency.”

The Action Safety program has two components, Bowman said. Students must complete both components to receive a certification card, she said.

“The first component is the online course with quizzes and final exam,” Bowman said. “It allows more flexibility for training employees ... And they retain more when they learn that way.

“After the students have completed the e-learning portion, they must attend a skills class offered by an authorized training center.”

Face-to-face training and testing is needed in addition to the Internet courses that Action Safety offers, she said.

“The hands-on skills training and skills testing reinforce the learning process and give students the confidence to act in an emergency,” Bowman said.

The online concept filled the needs for Morro Bay Power Plant, said employee Ron Kemper.

“The whole (online) concept is pretty good. It saves classroom time,” Kemper said. “When they have time they can take the course.”

Maureen Griswold, a personal fitness trainer from Cayucos, took the Action Safety course online for CPR certification.

“I thought it was very convenient,” Griswold said. “A lot of the classes, you have to go to are in the evening.

“(Online), you can stop and start and take (the training and test) anytime you want to. There are good visuals on the online training. I thought it was very well done.”

Students pay Action Safety for the online course, and an authorized training center charges for the skills class and hands-on training.

OSHA sets the guidelines for the courses and Action Safety meets all of those guidelines, Bowman said. The company also meets the guidelines of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, she said.

“We strongly believe that CPR and first-aid training require practice with mannequins and other training aids.,” Bowman said. “By combining online learning with hands-on skills training, we have blended the best of both worlds.

“Studies show that online learning is highly effective. Students study at their own pace and review material more often than they would in a traditional classroom setting.”

Action Safety has training centers in some states and contract instructors across the country, she said.

Kent Miller can be reached at 739-2221 or kentmiller@santamariatimes.com.

February 3, 2006