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East Pierce Fire and Rescue Launches "Hands Only" CPR Course

East Pierce Fire and Rescue is offering free, hour-long CPR courses that specialize in hands-only CPR and teach residents how to recognize signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue is offering a new, one-hour CPR class for people who don’t need a certification card. This free course will be presented once a month at the fire station headquarters, at 18421 Veterans Memorial Drive East, in Bonney Lake, starting Sept. 19.

“The class focuses on essential life-saving skills, including "hands-only" CPR for adult victims and recognition of the signs and symptoms of heart attack and strokes," said East Pierce EMS Chief Russ McCallion.

“Hands-only” CPR is recognized by the American Heart Association as a viable way to help someone, when a citizen can’t or doesn’t want to provide “mouth to mouth” ventilations for a CPR victim. Studies now show that for adult patients who collapse into cardiac arrest from a heart attack, performing continuous chest compressions, with no ventilations, provides a survival benefit equal to that of traditional CPR.

“Bystander CPR doubles the chance that a patient will survive cardiac arrest,” said McCallion. “We hope that this class will meet the needs of many people who have busy schedules, don’t need a certification for work, but just want to know how they can help save someone’s life.” 

East Pierce Fire provides CPR training and certification to more than 2,000 people annually, including 1,500 8th and 10th grade students, throughout the district.

“This effort has resulted in a 70 percent bystander CPR rate for witnessed collapses—one of the highest rates reported in the U.S.,” said McCallion. “That means that seven out of every ten heart attack victims who collapse in public in the East Pierce jurisdiction receive CPR from a bystander.”

He notes that CPR does not “bring someone back,” but rather buys time by circulating oxygenated blood to the brain until the heart can be defibrillated, or “shocked” into to a normal rhythm that can sustain life. The department hopes to generate increased interest in placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in businesses, churches and anywhere else people gather. East Pierce already supports teachers and police officers in the district with training and medical direction for AED programs.

The new “hands-only” CPR classes are scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m. on September 19, October 11, November 13 and December 11. Groups of 10 or more, such as homeowners associations, church groups, or business, can schedule to have the firefighters come to them with this valuable training. 

To register for the new hands-only CPR class, or for one of the traditional CPR/First Aid classes, call 253-863-1800 during business hours or register online at www.eastpiercefire.org.

Information provided by East Pierce Fire and Rescue

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