The old adage that says, home is where the heart is, is undeniably true, but sadly, home is also where the majority of non-hospital cardiac arrests occur. And, knowing how to deal with that kind of emergency can save lives.
“That’s the basic reason for the classes we provide,” says Murphy Fire Rescue Driver Engineer Brent Ulch, coordinator of the City’s Heartsaver First Aid CPR/AED classes. “We know that 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in private homes, and we’re also aware that of those victims, only about 40 percent get the proper help they need to keep them stable before emergency help arrives.”
To address that disparity, the Murphy Fire Rescue staff is offering two free Heartsaver First Aid CPR/AED classes on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Murphy Fire Department Training Room, 206 North Murphy Road.
“These classes result in the issuance of an official Heartsaver certification card,” he said. “That certification requires an extensive four-hour class that provides students with the skills necessary to keep cardiac arrest victims alive.”
Statistics reveal that almost 90 percent of victims who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest do not survive it. However, when CPR is properly applied within the first few minutes of a cardiac event, the chances for survival are doubled, and sometimes tripled.
“This is an important point, since a cardiac arrest disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs,” said Ulch. “Preventing or minimizing that disruption helps the victim avoid long-term damage. Prompt use of CPR, and an AED when available, can have very positive effects on the victim.”
An AED is an automated external defibrillator, a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest.
The classes also include basic first aid skills and are taught by certified instructors, familiar with the American Heart Association’s research-proven “practice-while-watching” technique. This technique allows instructors to observe the students, provide feedback, and guide the students’ learning of skills.
The two identical classes are divided into a morning class that starts at 8 a.m. and concludes at noon and an afternoon class which runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A maximum of 12 students will be accepted into each class.
To reserve a space, interested individuals must contact Dawnelle Rounsavall at 972-468-4304.