2 minute readHealth & Safety
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From Nurse to Licensed Training Provider: Meet Dawn DeCicco

How can I tell if a person is unconscious? What are the steps for using an AED?

When most people think about emergency training, a First Aid or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class may come to mind. But that’s just the beginning.

There’s a variety of classes out there—lifeguarding, land-based support, water training, and more—designed to equip you with the knowledge to save a life when an emergency strikes. Just ask Dawn DeCicco, Operations Manager for Sertified, an American Red Cross Nationwide Licensed Training Provider.

Circa 1994. Dawn’s commissioning photo when she first joined the Navy.

For the former nurse and mom of three living in Maryland, joining the Red Cross as a Training Services Instructor was the perfect opportunity for her to educate the public on essential lifesaving skills while enjoying the flexibility that allows her to spend time with her children.

As most Americans stayed home for work and school during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was able to spend more time with her children as they embarked on remote learning – all while teaching lifesaving certification classes in a virtual capacity with Sertified.

Dawn is no stranger to taking charge in an emergency, and her service to others has stemmed beyond national borders. Before finding her calling at the Red Cross, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and spent seven years as a labor and delivery nurse in the Navy, stationed in San Diego and eventually in Sicily where she met her husband.

She was first exposed to the Red Cross through the Service to the Armed Forces program. When her first child was born, the Red Cross helped deliver the message to her husband, who was serving as a Navy doctor overseas at the time.

Dawn, her husband and kids.

Years later, through her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, Dawn learned about Sertified. Since joining the training provider as an Operations Manager, Dawn has earned a variety of training certifications beyond basic First Aid and CPR.

She holds American Red Cross certifications as a First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor Trainer, Basic Life Support Instructor Trainer, Pediatric Advanced Life Support Instructor Trainer, Advanced Life Support Instructor Trainer, and Emergency Medical Response Instructor.

Most recently, she was a featured guest on a Facebook live with two Training Instructors where she shared her Red Cross training journey and also provided First Aid Tips.

Dawn with Sertified colleague, Owen Long, who were both recently featured in a Facebook Live discussion.

At the peak of the pandemic, Dawn met fellow nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals looking to freshen up on their certifications. In one of the nation’s darkest times, she witnessed healthcare workers, frontliners, individuals, and families step up to the plate to learn something new.

Aside from the newfound skills and personal reward that comes with taking a class, Dawn also notes that training presents the opportunity to connect with others who are also looking to obtain their certifications. She encourages peer-to-peer coaching as one of the best ways to learn something new alongside others who are learning too.

Whether leading an in-person class on Basic Life Support or giving land-based training tips behind the computer screen, Dawn continues to empower future lifesavers to take charge when an emergency strikes.

“You’re never too young or too old to save someone’s life and be a resource in an emergency,” she says. “You can be the person to act.”

If you’re seeking a flexible career path that enables you to make a difference in others’ lives, Dawn encourages you to look no further than becoming a Red Cross Certified Training Instructor.

To learn more about how you can be prepared for the unexpected, check out the American Red Cross Training Services page. Also, if you’re looking to become a certified and/or licensed trainer in lifesaving skills like Dawn, click here to learn how to get started.