Berlin man offers certification in life-saving techniques

By Jacob Mahaffey
The Budget

When someone is having a heart attack and their heart stops beating, time is of the essence. For every minute the body goes without blood delivery by the heart, it decreases the chance of survival by 10 percent. This is why it is important for people to learn CPR.

Craig Miller, of Berlin, is using his skills to teach CPR through his company The Survival Shop.

Miller has been serving people his entire life. For 28 years he served in the Armed Forces. The first four years in the Marine Corps and the last 24 in the Coast Guard. While in the Coast Guard, he was a helicopter rescue diver. After he retired, he became a paramedic. Currently, he drives school bus for East Holmes School District and manages the Crissy Memorial Pool in Millersburg.

Miller, who teaches the basics through the Red Cross, became an instructor initially to train his employees at the pool. He has been training others for much of his life. In fact, he has been a lifeguard, putting those same skills to the test since he was 17. “It’s part of my DNA,” Miller stated. “I’ve always been in training – lifeguards, first aid, CPR – even during my 28 years in the service.”

Miller wanted to find another way to share in the knowledge that he had. His wife, Barbara, his biggest supporter and encourager, urged him to follow his heart. “With being an EMT and Paramedic, and being involved with the Red Cross my wife asked me why I don’t start teaching,” Miller recalled.

Following his wife’s advice, Miller began The Survival Shop. The name is a tribute to his Coast Guard days. “The 24 years I was in the Coast Guard, the shop I worked out of it was called The Survival Shop,” Miller said. “That’s where the helicopter rescue swimmers worked out of.”

Miller teaches several different classes, First Aid/CPR/AED for the general public, First AID/CPR/AED for healthcare providers, CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers, and Lifeguard Recertification.

The Survival Shop operates out of Miller’s basement. “I have it set-up,” he said. “I have monitors for videos, all the mannequins, and AEDs.”

With his vast knowledge and own certifications, Miller is able to tailor classes to fit the needs of his clients and, if needed, can come to participants in the workplace if needed. He enjoys every chance he gets to teach a lifesaving procedure. “It’s definitely not a job, it’s a passion,” he said. “What better gift is there to give someone than to show them how to save a life?”

A typical class itself lasts about two to three hours and Miller can teach up to ten participants at a time. “If they need adult and infant CPR and AED, and some first aid training, depending upon the number of participants, the class can take anywhere from three to four hours,” he said. “They may tell me they need adult CPR/AED training, it could last two to three hours. I will make the class according to their requirements.”

Over the past several months, Miller has fielded requests from a local fire department for assistance with training. “They have so few instructors and are just so busy on a day-to-day basis they don’t have the time to set aside hours to put on a class,” he explained. “I’m here to help with that kind of a situation.”

He noted that as part of the class, students will learn the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest and how to use an AED properly in the right situation. “A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a certain portion of the heart stops. They are painful but survivable,” he explained. “But cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating altogether.”

For more information or to schedule a class, call Miller at 252-202-4877 or visit The Survival Shop on Facebook. He can also be reached via email at