Flagler County Health Human Services Staff Certify Together for CPR

cpr class with instructors talking demonstrating firt aid compressions ans reanimation procedure cpr dummy scaled

It’s a good thing to know – “whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother” – the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” is precisely the right rhythm for performing CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the emergency procedure that can help save a life when breathing or the heart stops.

The Flagler County Health and Human Services Department spent a day in June (in two shifts) certifying or recertifying for CPR in classes taught by Community Paramedic Tracy Farmer. The Basic Life Support training will allow the department, whether singly or in 3-person teams, to provide potentially life-saving support until paramedics and a fully supplied ambulance arrive on the scene.

“The bottom line is that if a person has no pulse, doing something is better than doing nothing,” Farmer said. “If you aren’t comfortable doing breaths, then do the compressions.”

The purpose of CPR is to assist people during cardiac arrest, when the heart stops beating or is ineffective in circulating blood to the brain and other vital organs. The American Red Cross has changed its guidance over the years. Typically, CPR has included a combination of chest compressions to mimic a beating heart and breaths to provide oxygen. It now has been determined that compressions can be effective without breaths. The recommended “Stayin’ Alive” rate is 100 to 120 compressions a minute.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages getting some education about CPR as preparation is key. According to its website, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival if it is performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest.

“You don’t need a special certification or formal training to perform CPR, but you do need education,” its website states. “If cardiac arrest happens to someone near you, don’t be afraid – just be prepared! Follow these steps if you see someone in cardiac arrest:

  • “Call 9-1-1 right away. If another bystander is nearby, save time by asking that person to call 9-1-1 and look for an automated external defibrillator (AED) while you begin CPR. AEDs are portable machines that can electrically shock the heart and cause it to start beating again.
  • “Give CPR. Push down hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute. Let the chest come back up to its normal position after each push. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends timing your pushes to the beat of the song ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ This method of CPR is called ‘hands-only’ and does not involve breathing into the person’s mouth.
  • “Continue giving CPR until medical professionals arrive or until a person with formal CPR training can take over.”

Flagler County Fire Rescue teaches public CPR classes on the first Saturday of each month. There is nominal cost of $5. Preregistration is required and can be done by contacting Fire Rescue Lt. Jon Moscowitz at 386-313-4251 or by email at CPRtraining@flaglercounty.gov.

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By Julie Murphy

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