The “Save Your Sweetheart” CPR classes return once again as the St. Francois County Ambulance District will be offering a full day of classes.
On Feb. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., residents can stop in and learn the skills needed to perform CPR. The class will be held at Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 425 North Street in Farmington. February is American Heart Month.
“Considering recent events with the football player from New York, it shows just how important recognizing and applying CPR truly is,” EMS Educator Dustin Tate said. “Without the early intervention of CPR that event may have been quite tragic.”
Tate said the class is for people to come when they are free during the day, and no specific appointment is needed to attend the class.
During the day, there will be several tables set up where the students can go and be grouped with instructors. The instruction period will last no more than 30 minutes, and students will get an opportunity to practice the skills on a simulator and the students get instant feedback from the instruction staff.
It is important to note this event will not have a certificate issued to students, as Tate described the event to merely be an opportunity to learn the skills needed.
The original “Save your Sweetheart” event was started years ago by former EMS Educator Randy Davis, and the ambulance district decided to revive the event for the community.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiac arrest most often occurs at home. Having the skills of CPR and knowing when to use it can help double or triple the chance of survival from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
There are two types of CPR commonly performed. The type of CPR most often performed is conventional CPR, which uses chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth. The second commonly performed CPR, and the one the ambulance district will be teaching, is hands-only CPR, which only utilizes chest compressions and no mouth-to-mouth.
Hands-only CPR is recommended for use by people who may see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an out-of-hospital setting.
Providing CPR is not the only step when it comes to seeing someone experiencing cardiac arrest. It is important to call 911 before starting CPR.
Some common signs someone may be going through cardiac arrest include a person collapsing suddenly and losing consciousness; where they are not breathing, breathing ineffectively, or are gasping for air; do not respond to shouting or shaking, and do not have a pulse.
If the class goes well, Tate hopes to have another closer to the end of the summer.
Danielle Thurman is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be contacted at email@example.com or 573-518-3616.