Archived Story

RFD offering free CPR training class

Published 6:01am Saturday, November 10, 2012

If you were out to dinner and your spouse suddenly fell over and became unresponsive, would you know what to do?
If you were at home and one of your children suddenly stopped breathing, would you know how to help?
Knowing the basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) could mean the difference between life and death in situations like these and many other situations.
With this in mind, the Russellville Fire Department is planning to hold a community CPR class on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 6-8 p.m. at RFD Station 1 on South Jackson Avenue.
Fire Chief Joe Mansell said the class would be free to the public with the hopes that many people would take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to save another person’s life.
“We are always looking for ways we can help the community,” Mansell said, “and we think this class will be beneficial to many people.”
Mansell said firefighter and EMT Chris Watkins will be teaching the class.
“We’ve talked about having a class like this for a long time now and when Chris joined the department, I knew he would be a good one to teach this class,” Mansell said.
“He’s done a good job getting this organized and it will be very informative.”
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), nearly 250,000 people in the U.S. die of sudden cardiac arrest each year and about 75 to 80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home.
“Looking at these numbers, you probably won’t be near a hospital if you or someone you know experiences a situation where you’re in need of CPR,” Watkins said. “When you’re already in that situation, it’s too late to realize you should have learned CPR. It’s better to learn it now so you have that knowledge for the future.”
The AHA has estimated that a victim’s chance of survival 7-10 percent for every minute in delaying CPR.
But Watkins said medical data shows that effective bystander CPR provided immediately after a cardiac arrest can double a victim’s chance for survival.
“Some people won’t perform CPR when it’s needed because they either don’t know how or they are scared they will hurt the person further, but in that situation, not receiving CPR is what will hurt them the most, Watkins said.
“Knowing CPR really is an important life skill that everyone should have, so just providing a class that will give people that awareness might make them more confident in the event they ever need to use that knowledge.”
Watkins stressed that this was not a certification course but simply a bystander class that will teach basic skills in CPR and the relief of choking infants, children and adults.
Even though the class is free, pre-registration for the class will be required for the sake of materials and accommodations.
Watkins said the video-based and hands-on class would be limited to the first 30 people who called to register, so those interested in participating should call as soon as possible.
To register for the class or for more information, contact Chief Mansell at 256-332-8761, ext. 11.

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