Alarm Box: Learn CPR at regular classes in Ashland and you could save a life

Community-wide CPR training is a critical tool in life-saving. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of our nation’s leading killers. Nearly 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital (for example, at home, work, the park, or your favorite coffeehouse/establishment). About 92 percent of those victims do not survive because often the people around them, the bystanders, do not step in and perform CPR.

Four-hundred and fifty Americans fall victim to cardiac arrest daily; statistically speaking, they have an 8 percent chance of survival rate with the current scope of community members trained.

Right now, if someone where you are fell victim to cardiac arrest, what are the odds they would survive? If we lived in a world where almost everyone knew CPR and was ready to help, we could double, even triple, that chance of survival. Continued enhancement of the community’s ability to recognize and respond to cardiac arrest will increase survival rates.

Many bystanders are afraid of hurting the victim, believe others will be available to help, never thought they needed to know how to perform CPR, etc. The truth is, any CPR is better than no CPR; your actions could save a life. Learning this powerful life-saving tool will give you the confidence to effectively perform CPR and increase a victim’s chance of survival.

Ashland Fire & Rescue offers First Aid, CPR, AED & BLS certification through American Heart Association which focuses on the basic “Chain of Survival” including:

• Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and emergency response activation;

• Early CPR — bystander CPR (using hands-only chest compressions);

• Rapid defibrillation — public access to AED;

• Effective advanced life support (EMS provides); and

• Integrated post cardiac arrest care (hospital provided).

We offer classes monthly. There is a class calendar on our website at www.ashland.or.us/cpr, or call us for more information at 541-552-2226. We also accept emails directly to the program at cpr@ashland.or.us. Sign up for a class today.

Training is available to the whole community. The American Heart Association says students as young as seventh graders can effectively perform the skills. We currently provide annual CPR training to seventh-grade students in Jackson County through a partner program coined the “Southern Oregon CPR Initiative,” with partners including local EMS agencies, the local chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and AHA.

CPR dates back to 1740 when the Paris Academy of Sciences recommended “mouth-to-mouth” for drowning patients and then, in 1903, the first reported successful use of chest compressions was documented in human resuscitation. The 1900s saw a tremendous increase in the innovation and expansion of today’s cardio-pulmonary resuscitation programs and findings. Today the skills are readily available through community classes and certification.

CPR works; you can save a life today.

Save the date for the next Ashland Is Ready (AIR) event on Saturday, Sept. 12. This year we will focus on what you should do to be prepared and how you can achieve preparedness on your own.

Terri Eubanks is the CPR and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program Coordinator. Email her at terri.eubanks@ashland.or.us. The Alarm Box, a column with local public safety information, appears triweekly in the Tidings. Email Alarm Box topic suggestions to Division Chief/Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman at margueritte.hickman@ashland.or.us.

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