By Greg Rodgers, CSFD Division Chief
If someone you love – or a complete stranger – were to go into sudden cardiac arrest, would you know what to do?
Would you stand by helplessly waiting for help to arrive as precious seconds tick away?
Several years ago, an older man was walking in the local mall one morning when he suddenly dropped to the ground. He was having a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. With blood no longer flowing to the brain and other vital organs, SCA usually leads to death if not treated quickly.
Fortunately for him, someone nearby had been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), took quick action, and saved his life.
In my 35 years in the fire service, I’ve witnessed sudden cardiac arrest three times. Two had positive outcomes, thanks to the immediate application of CPR.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year and is a leading cause of death. According to the American Heart Association, survival rates can double or even triple if someone administers CPR until emergency medical services personnel arrive. Without CPR, about 90 percent of those who suffer SCA outside of a hospital don’t make it.
That’s made me a strong believer in proactive CPR training programs.
Learn Basic CPR on Thursday
If you’ve ever wanted to learn this life-saving technique but never seemed to find the time, here’s your chance.
The College Station Fire Department will participate in the World CPR and Stop the Bleed Challenge on Thursday from noon-6 p.m. at Fire Stations 2, 3 and 6. Perhaps the most extensive bystander CPR training event ever, the initiative is designed to teach compression-only CPR in 10 minutes to as many people as possible in a single afternoon. Participation is free, no registration is required, and family and friends are welcome.
- Fire Station No. 2 – 2200 Rio Grande Blvd.
- Fire Station No. 3 – 1900 Barron Rd.
- Fire Station No. 6 – 610 University Dr. East
Experienced College Station firefighters will conduct the short training sessions. Since compression is the most effective element of CPR, that’s the focus. No mouth-to-mouth techniques will be involved. Here’s the five-step process you’ll learn:
- Check for responsiveness.
- Call 911.
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.
- Send someone for an automated external defibrillator (AED).
- Keep it up until help arrives.
Knowing effective CPR techniques can have a direct effect on your friends, family, and everyone around you. CPR training may not guarantee a positive outcome, but it dramatically increases the odds.
For more information, contact me at 979-229-6625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Blogger
Greg Rodgers is in his 31st year with the College Station Fire Department, where is a division chief and serves as the department’s public information officer. A native of San Antonio, Greg earned a bachelor’s degree in emergency management administration from West Texas A&M in 2008.
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