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Columbia Business Monthly

Code Red CPR Services Has Plan to Be on Call for Training Needs

May 24, 2023 12:31PM ● By Lucia Jackson

When it’s time to secure or renew CPR certification, finding a class may not be so easy. Deah Waters and Sabrina Wolfe have seen that need and plan to meet it with their new Columbia-based business.

Their fledgling business, Code Red CPR Services, will fill a gap by offering CPR training or renewal on a rush basis, says Waters, founder and certified CPR instructor who also works in neuroscience in a hospital setting. Nurses and other health care professionals must renew their CPR certification every two years.

“Those two years fly by,” says Sabrina Wolfe, Code Red co-founder and a registered nurse. While some hospitals offer classes for their staff, it may be difficult to find a spot. Wolfe, who works as a travel nurse, has found there are many CPR instructors but most of them stay booked up.

“We plan to offer rush order CPR training,” Waters says. For renewal of training, the person could request it 24 hours in advance and complete the written portion online. Then the next day, the hands-on training would be held for quick completion. The hands-on portion includes checking compression rate, use of the AED (automated external defibrillator), and breaths. Both Waters and Wolfe are certified CPR trainers, either through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

Beyond the hospitals and nursing profession, having CPR certified employees on hand is important in many other settings. Waters listed dentists’ offices, school districts, day cares, bars and restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, law firms, and manufacturing plants as locations where the training is either already required or should be.

After all, anywhere at any time, a person can go into cardiac distress and need to be revived. “The football player whose heart had to be restarted on the field played this up,” Wolfe says. A young and healthy Buffalo Bills player, Damar Hamlin, went into cardiac arrest after a hit to the chest in January but was successfully revived by use of CPR and a defibrillator.

Code Red CPR Services has an agreement to recertify Richland School District One’s coaches and teachers this summer, Waters says.

A major expense for the business is equipment such as CPR practice dummies, as well as marketing materials. Code Red CPR Services is competing in the Inaugural $30K PowerUp competition for startup companies in South Carolina. Presented by Integrated Media Publishing and Eric Weir, the competition offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to win a grant from $5,000 to $15,000.

“We heard about the program on social media,” explains Waters. “We are both very excited to launch our business.”

Wolfe says they plan to set up their classes with more opportunity for one-on-one training to make it less stressful. “When you have an actual emergency, no matter how much training you’ve had, it’s still a shock,” she says. 

Scheduled for the summer is a Baby Sitting and Advanced Child Care Certification class for ages 11 to 15. It will include CPR training for use on young children and basic safety, including what to do if a child is choking. Anyone who babysits on a military base is required to be certified in CPR, Waters says.

Other services Code Red CPR plans to offer are Basic First Aid Certification, Advanced Life Support Certification and Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certification, as well as swimming and water safety.   

Waters says she worked at a job fair for elementary school students and found them enthusiastic to learn CPR and first aid. She and Wolfe hope to secure a van that can be equipped to offer pop-up CPR classes at locations that will be posted on their website, The website is on Google and Yelp so that customers can find it.

The potential territory for Code Red CPR Services is the entire state of South Carolina, as well as Georgia and North Carolina. The company needs to purchase training dummies (adult, child, infant), AED equipment, practice skill masks and other training materials. It does not yet have a business location.

Code Red CPR Services can be reached by phone at 803-293-5030 or by email at [email protected]

Waters and Wolfe have been friends since their high school years in Columbia. “We work well together,” Wolfe says. “We listen to each other.”

Wolfe, who has experience training in her work, looks forward to teaching. “I’m young but still have a lot of experience. I know what’s important for them to know. It’s easier to learn when you are not so nervous.”