Irons in the fire: Health consultant launches CPR baby sitter training

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pam Hollrah-Asleson has started several small LLCs including babysitter training, CPR, nurse consulting and motivational speaking.

Pam Hollrah-Asleson has started several small LLCs including babysitter training, CPR, nurse consulting and motivational speaking.

Even for one person, Pam Hollrah-Asleson’s office is getting quite crammed. So is her closet.

But one should expect that, with as many proverbial irons this woman has in the fire. The Lyle resident, who rents space in Austin’s 110 building on First Avenue South, has for several years operated RN Consulting and Coordinating, a business in which she gives legal and procedural advice to prisons, hospitals, group homes and other care facilities. Given her experience, which includes 40 years of nursing — she branched out and started several more LLCs and DBAs to capitalize on her skills. Quite simply, the woman is obsessed with saving lives. More specifically, she likes to pass those skills on to others.

“I have very broad, varied experience,” she said.

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Among consulting, Hollrah-Asleson recently launched a baby sitter training business, a CPR training business, a help button business and is a motivational speaker. Regardless of all the different ventures, she’ll make time for people who need it.


Have life-saving skills, will travel

During Hollrah-Asleson’s time doing RN consulting at the Cedars of Austin, she also started training the staff for CPR certification. Today, she runs U-2-Can Save a Life, her CPR training business operated out of the 110 building, where she holds both individual sessions and classes. Despite her tight office space, she has the use of a spacious, centralized room.

However, if people can’t attend the classes or make it to her office, she’ll go to them.

“I’ll bring my stuff right into their house and do training if I have to,” she said.

Hollrah-Asleson simply wants more sectors of the community to know about life-safety training. To simplify that, she also introduces people to Family and Friends CPR training. The program does not leave participants CPR certified, but it offers plenty of insight and is a less-expensive way for people to gain those skills.

However, those who attend Hollrah-Asleson’s classes will get the use of state-of-the-art manikins with lights that indicate when CPR is being performed correctly.

Like before, one venture turned into another: baby sitter training. So she launched U-2-Can Babysit.

“People said, ‘Do you teach baby-sitting?’” she said. “So I said, ‘We can do that.’”

While there is some overlap from the CPR business — she teaches Family and Friends CPR to students — Hollrah-Asleson expounds upon the life-safety training and reviews techniques such as dressing children, changing diapers, using car seats and even how to run a baby-sitting business. Hollrah-Asleson said some people may overlook the significance of caring for someone’s child.

“The lives of these children are in your hands,” she said.


Safety with the touch of a button

Just weeks ago, Hollrah-Asleson launched yet another business: B-Ready-4: HELP. Her daughter helped foster the idea that medical pendants, traditionally only seen on senior citizens or those with health risks, could be used in more situations. She thought about her previous employment and how others could benefit from such a push-button service in which the Cooperative Response Center responds when one pushes the button.

“I had worked at a prison,” Hollrah-Asleson said. “I was used to having the nice option of hitting that.”

So she mentioned the idea to other businesses where emergencies can happen, such as where people work alone in dangerous settings.

“What if one of your staff is going to the basement to do laundry or one of your staff falls in the shower,” Hollrah-Asleson said.

Thus far, Hollrah-Asleson has test pilots in 14 settings, including a home, a restaurant and on a cattle farm.

“They’re all life safety,” Hollrah-Asleson said about the uses.

People can pay for the machine and $25 per month for the service or rent the equipment and pay $45 per month. The button patches into CRC, which then responds over an electronic monitor. If CRC can’t get ahold of the victim, its employees contact 911. The button has a 400-foot range.

When she shared the idea, Hollrah-Asleson wasn’t sure it would receive much attention, but business professionals and parents assured her it was a good idea and that she’d need to start an LLC. When Hollra-Asleson tells people about the system, she sees surprise in the reactions.

“You just see people’s faces and they are like, ‘I never thought of that,’” she said.

The possibilities for the help button’s uses are nearly endless.


Let’s talk about it

As one who teaches people and performs consulting on a regular basis, Hollrah-Asleson is a suitable speaker for other occasions. So that’s what she does, with a new business, of course.

She started Poet’s Heart, God’s Gift LLC for two main reasons: to help people whose lives have gotten off track and consult with military families coping with problems.

“It’s journaling your journey and looking at your life,” Hollrah-Asleson said.

Hollrah-Asleson considers herself a problem solver. She took training to become a motivational speaker and is now a Toastmaster, one who goes through Toastmasters International and becomes a leader and problem solver.

“My focus is intended to be motivational in your life, where you’ve lost your way and how you can get back on track,” she said.


Passion for saving lives

With all of her ventures, Hollrah-Asleson has needed some extra help. She gets plenty of that through Bev Winkels and Sharon Solomon, who also each have roughly 40 years of nursing experience.

“We all have a passion for life safety,” Hollrah-Asleson said. “We’re 120 years of nursing between us.”

Winkels, who started helping in June, sorted through materials in Hollrah-Asleson’s office on Thursday morning before tackling the rest of her day’s schedule. Like Hollrah-Asleson, she just can’t stop teaching people about life safety.

“I love teaching, and I have been teaching CNA [certified nursing assistant] classes for over 20 years,” she said.

With an office and closet full of training materials and information, Hollrah-Asleson and her crew are poised to make the community a safer place — one class, and even one person at time. With enough time and feedback, perhaps Hollrah-Asleson, who is an entrepreneurial leader, will dream of another gig — all in the name of safety.