Friends, Family CPR can save a life

Published 8:38 pm Friday, March 11, 2011

Certification in CPR is not required in order to provide a lifeline to a sudden death heart attack victim until trained medical personnel can arrive. It’s just having the knowledge to perform the potential lifesaving procedure.

Therefore, the Troy Fire Department is offering the Friends and Family CPR training to any and all who are interested.

“Friends and Family CPR is not a certification program,” said Thomas Outlaw, Troy Fire Chief. “It’s a basic program of the American Heart Association that teaches the public to perform CPR until help can arrive.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Thomas said CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation – is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest.

When cardiac arrests occur, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to “buy time” until normal heart function is restored.

“Friends and Family CPR is a program designed for people who don’t need to be certified in case of an emergency,” Outlaw said. “Statistics show that 80 percent of sudden death heart attacks occur in the home or when the victim is with friends. So, Friends and Family CPR can save a person’s life by providing that small amount of blood flow until help arrives. That’s why knowing CPR is so important. It can save lives.”

Outlaw said the two-hour class also teaches participants how to use a defibrillator to restore the normal rhythm of the heart during a sudden death heart attack.

“These defibrillators used to be very expensive but now one can be purchased for around $1,500 or less,” Outlaw said.

“Several city buildings here in Troy and some industries have defibrillators. Using a defibrillator is rather simple and can save lives.”

Outlaw said knowing how to administer CPR or use a defibrillator does not put anyone in danger of a lawsuit stemming from an attempt to revive a heart attack victim.

“Under those circumstances, individuals are protected under the Good Samaritan Law,” he said. “However, Friends and Family CPR is designed for emergencies that involve family members and friends.”

The Friends and Family CPR program is being offered by the Troy Fire Department so that participants may provide a lifeline to loved ones during heart-related emergencies.

“The class is only a couple of hours and it has the potential to save lives,” Outlaw said.

“In addition to the training, we also provide participants with a booklet and a CPR reminder card to carry in their wallets.”

Class size for the Friends and Family CPR training can be from a small group to as many as 40. On-site classes are available for industries, businesses, clubs and organizations. DVDs are also available through the American Heart Association.

For more information about Friends and Family CPR or to schedule a class, call 670-2254.