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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Station Life: Community CPR

Everyone has heard the old saying “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” While that may be the truth in many cases, for Brentwood Fire and Rescue Firefighters it may be more apt to say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Firefighters have long understood that a strong public education program is a cornerstone of a safer community.

Each Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department fire engine is equipped with lifesaving equipment. The trucks have everything from defibrilators and drugs to oxygen and bandaids. The crew members that staff these trucks are highly trained and experienced in providing advanced life support and dealing with emergency situations. When they are alerted to an emergency situation, they respond quickly and put their training and tools to the test.

But what if you are there when an emergency happens? What if the person in the office next to yours or in the ahead of you at the checkout of the grocery store has a heart attack? Did you know that bystander CPR (that is, CPR performed before the fire department or ambulance arrives) can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival?


Recently a group of Brentwood Firefighters taught a class on CPR to the Deaf Congregation at Brentwood Baptist Church. The firefighters, through the aid of signers, were able to teach the class what to do in an emergency, how to properly use a bag-valve-mask and defibrillator as well as perform CPR on infants, children and adults.

Many people are reluctant to perform CPR on a stranger, thinking that they would have to give them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As the members of the church learned, this isn’t the case. Studies have shown that only giving the chest compressions of CPR is highly effective and will greatly improve the chances of a victim having a positive outcome, which is why the American Heart Association promotes ‘Hands-Only’ CPR.
The congregation was also instructed on how to properly handle a choking emergency. Here, firefighters demonstrate how to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver.

The members of the church were encouraged to practice their skills at various stations. By the end of the course, everyone who wanted to had a chance to perform CPR on a variety of manikins. Everyone left that evening feeling more confident in their abilities to help out in case of emergency.
Brentwood Fire and Rescue would like to remind you that in the event of a medical emergency, the first step should be to dial 911. If you have any questions about Hands-Only CPR please visit The American Heart Association’s CPR Webpage , Brentwood Fire and Rescue or call us at (615)715-9354.