First Aid & CPR

About Us

American First Aid & CPR

Our Mission

We at American First Aid and CPR believe that the first step in protecting and helping one another in times of need is through knowledge and confidence. We all depend on our Emergency Medical System to be there when we need them. In order for the EMS system to treat people and give them the best chance of survival they must first have the help of the first responder… you the public, to help them achieve this.

Our goal is to train as many people as possible in the simple life saving skills to enable our Firefighters, EMT’S and Paramedics to provide the next level of care necessary to ensure survival.

American First Aid and CPR is committed to this mission and will continue to move forward to expand our knowledge base so that we may continue to provide our students with the most up to date information available.


Our Instructors

Pattie Hendrickson

Senior Instructor/AHA Faculty Instructor
Decorated Firefighter, Retired Nurse

Pattie spent 6 years as a firefighter and then another 16 years working in a physician’s assistant capacity for a local family practice.  She brings the benefit of her varied experience, her emergency service, and her sense of humor to her classes which provides not only diverse information but makes her classes fun and interesting for the everyone.  Pattie has taught classes in a variety of settings including formal classrooms, outdoor settings, auditoriums, shops, offices, etc., and can accommodate most any request.   

Her clinical background enables her to bring technical First Aid & CPR training to a general understanding of the human body, and relay it all in a manner that is easier to understand.  She has training as a level 2 firefighter, a level 1 EMT, as well as training in building collapse, extrication, arson investigation, private airlift, biopsies, IV, IV therapy, sutures, EKG, venipuncture, cardiology and a variety of other non-specific topics.

Pattie was firefighter of the year twice and received the EMS Award twice.  She is a dedicated, principled professional with integrity and a great love for her fellow human beings.  Her passion to help others is obvious to anyone who takes her class.  

Forbes Mercy


Forbes joined the Fire Service at 17 as a Volunteer in 1977, he helped start the first BLS medical unit for his department after obtaining his EMT in 1979.  He was hired full-time in 1982 and progressed to Fire Chief by 32 years old then started his department’s Paramedic Program.  During early years he also worked part-time for a local ambulance company on days off working on thousands of patients.

In 1992, Forbes started his own First Aid company obtaining the Federal Government contract and numerous corporations.  The success of this company caused him to retire from the Fire Service in 1993.  Even though a First Aid instructor since 1982 he and his company trained over 10,000 people in First Aid.  His evaluations are always excellent, the teaching style is upbeat, no videos and very enjoyable, many saying it’s the best class they’ve had.  This is because the style of teaching is not just how but also why making the technique more memorable while always talking at a level appropriate for the person he is training.  Also covered in his class is enhanced safety in providing first aid, and coping with the psychology of treatment which benefits both career and first time care givers.

He was side tracked in 1994 when he started the first local Internet company in Yakima and reduced his teaching load then sold his First Aid company to allow for this new career.  Even though still in the Internet business we recently were fortunate to return Forbes to teaching for us, you would definitely benefit from his experience and enthusiasm.

Lorene Thaxton

Instructor/Bus Manager/AHA Faculty Instructor
AHA, HCP/BLS, AED, Heartsaver

Lorene has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and was a member of the Yakima County Search and Rescue.  She was initially certified in Advanced First Aid & CPR at age 12. 

Intrigued by the Medical field, she managed and enlarged a small family practice in to a full service, multi- physician, multi-specialty medical clinic.  Along with the management she also assisted in a nursing capacity, as well as doing the billing/coding, training and many other various duties.  She later served for a short time as Director of an Assisted Living Facility and has served on numerous community committees, councils, and boards.

Lorene has spent her lifetime in Business Administration and still occasionally works as an Income Tax Preparer and as an EMT for Yakima County EMS.  Her diversity is her biggest asset.  She is well traveled, generally an optimist and has been described as, among other things, “principled”, “hard working”,  “friendly”, and “enthusiastic”. 

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