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franklin county times

Be prepared to help save a life

Did you know the Russellville Fire Department will offer free CPR training – to anyone?

We sure didn’t until the class held last week by Alabama EMS Region One to help RFD firefighters improve their CPR techniques. Sometimes CPR training feels like something that must be inaccessible except to those for whom it is required – like firefighters, or maybe lifeguards or daycare teachers. But as it turns out, anyone can pursue the knowledge and correct procedures to be able to administer life-saving CPR.

According to the American Heart Association, most people who experience cardiac arrest outside a hospital die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Each year more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States, but immediate CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival – with hands-only CPR being just as effective for conventional CPR as an immediate response.

The American Heart Association urges anyone who sees someone suddenly collapse to call 9-1-1 and then begin administering hard and fast compressions at 100-120 compressions per minute. The association recommends compressing to the beat of a song at that speed for easy mental reference, like “Stayin’ Alive,” or “Walk the Line,” for examples.

Dion Schultz, AERO director, says he thinks people are scared to do CPR because they might hurt the patient. However, no one could possibly cause the patient damage by doing CPR that could not be fixed by medical personnel, Dion explained – conversely, there might be first responders can do if too much time has elapsed and total heart failure occurs. That’s why Dion emphasizes the importance of immediate hands-only CPR – and why the RFD offers training in this methodology.

We encourage everyone not to be afraid to administer CPR if the need arises – you just might save someone’s life. We hope anyone who is interested in learning to give CPR or improving their technique will contact the RFD about free training – 256-332-8761.

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