CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. – A free 10-minute CPR training class outside the Camano Island IGA is intended to bridge the gap between calling 911 and when rescue crews arrive. It’s the one thing that can double, even triple, a person’s chance of surviving a heart attack, say rescuers, and it takes minutes to learn.
“It’s a fundamentally very basic skill,” said Jim Reinhardt, with Camano island Fire and Rescue. “I can instruct someone on how to do hands-only CPR to where they are doing compressions quite effectively easily within a minute.”
Camano Island Fire and Rescue is offering the free course through Friday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. They are hoping to residents will take the 10 minutes to learn adult compression, hands-only CPR. Participants will be shown a brief video, and then practice the technique on a dummy with one-to-one instruction from a firefighter.
“It takes us an average of 7 ½ minutes to reach someone in a medical emergency – sometimes longer for the extreme south end of the island,” said Reinhardt in a press release. “Having a community member administer CPR while we’re on our way greatly increases someone’s chance of survival and making a full recovery.”
Cardiac arrest unexpectedly takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Studies show that survival rates from a heart attack can be doubled or tripled if CPR is administered until emergency medical services arrive. Traditional CPR required mouth-to-mouth breathing in addition to chest compressions. But, Reinhardt said physicians with the American Heart Association have since changed those guidelines.
“In an adult or a teen in cardiac arrest, chest compression by itself is, for a short time, just as helpful as traditional CPR," said Reinhardt. “Once our EMS team arrives, we take over and then provide advanced cardiac arrest treatments including breathing support for the victim. However, without bystander chest compressions being performed, the victim’s chance of survival rapidly drops to zero."
For more information on the hands-only CPR technique, head to the American Heart Association's website