Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawn Roney.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have always wanted to be a lifesaver. One day when I was 12 years old at the beach, I witnessed a person who just drowned. This was back in the 80’s and not as many people knew CPR and there were no AED back then.
I was only 12 years old, but I wanted to help. Everyone was just standing around staring at the person as it was just before the lifeguards were starting their day. I sprinted around the beach and screamed for help and if anyone knew CPR. After a few minutes, just one person said yes. They started CPR (a lot of different back then) but he was so blue and it was too long that he was without oxygen or CPR. He was still doing agonal gasps, so it seems as if he was still sort of alive. But he was dead. I will never forget that moment, and that is what made me get my first job… as a lifeguard.
When I was 16 I took all the necessary lifeguarding classes, first aid and CPR courses so I could help save lives. I was very young, but I wanted to help others and loved the medical aspect of it. Fast forward a few years and I majored in Sports Medicine in college and worked part-time in college as a bartender, lifeguard and swim instructor. While in my last year of college, one of my professors said I knew “my stuff” and was a great teacher and had a warm personality, so he wanted me to become a CPR instructor. I am glad I took his advice.
I would just do CPR, AED and first aid classes on the side when people asked and at local colleges and high schools. When students took my class (they were always actually older than me) they commented that it was the best class they ever had and learned more with me because of the way I taught it and was very hands-on with my instruction. At some point, I got a lot of calls and I said to myself, “Hey, I can make this into a business!”
Not knowing how to start a business, I googled all I needed to learn about starting a small business. It was more than I thought and bargained for, but it was well worth it. That was just 11 years ago, but now I have 21 people who work for me and 5 offices where we hold classes, or we travel all across Florida, and it has been a very successful ride.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
At first, it was not that hard. When you get a few calls and emails a week you can handle everything. But in my business, everyone has to get certified again every 2 years. So when I was in my second year, I had a new business and then all the people calling and emailing me for classes again, so I started to get busy. Of course, in my 4th year, I had hundreds of people calling me now and I could not handle the volume, so I had to add more instructors and hire people to answer calls, and emails so it was amazing to actually have an assistant! I felt pretty proud, but humbled, when that happened.
Please tell us about CPR Florida.
My instructors and I provide top quality CPR, EAD, first aid, bloodborne pathogens, oxygen, pals and acls training. We teach American Heart Association, Red Cross and ASHI programs. We also teach PET (dog and cat) CPR and first aid classes so we can help save your whole family!
We teach basic level to advanced levels of training, so we really are able to handle most of the needs to students in Florida. We are known for fun, stress-free and educational classes at a fair price. What sets us apart from others is we not only travel to your location, but we have 5 offices where they can sign up and attend a regularly scheduled class. Most companies do not have as many locations or number of classes that we offer. We also always give you your certification card the very same day for the past 11 years.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood was going to the beach each summer for 1-2 weeks in Delaware or Maryland and loving it. That is why I moved to Florida after college. 🙂
My favorite memory of being a “child” at 16 was my first save in a neighborhood pool when I was lifeguarding.
- CPR and AED Class $70
- CPR, AED and First Aid $75
- BLS $80
- ACLS $150
- PALS $200
- Website: www.cprflorida.net
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cprflorida/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CPR-Florida-cpr-first-aid-bls-acls-pals-classes-and-aed-sales/19122883662
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/floridacpraed