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Springfield Fire Department responds to more than 200 CPR calls in 2020

American Red Cross is offering CPR training despite pandemic.
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 9:20 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Fire Department responded to 235 calls requiring crews to perform CPR in 2020. Only 22% of those people regained a pulse before crews moved them from the scene.

“Even hands only CPR can save a life “ said Springfield Fire Department EMS and Special Operations Battalion Chief Brian Athen.

Athen said every second matters during an emergency.

”In the first 10 minutes, for every minute that a person’s heart is not beating, the chance of survival goes down by 10%,” Athen said. “It’s a very small window for someone to take action and get involved and try to save their life. "

Athen said firefighter response time is between four and five minutes. They’re asking the public to help fill that gap by downloading the Pulse Point app.

”Once the 911 center receives it it activates your phone to let you know that there is a cardiac arrest at this location and it also lets you know where the closest defibrillators located. “

The fire department explained how the app works in a news release, stating:

After downloading the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for “PulsePoint,” those trained in CPR and wishing to assist in case of an emergency can be notified of a cardiac emergency nearby that may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert trained citizens in the vicinity of the need for bystander CPR at the same time first responders are dispatched. The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED). Note: User notification only occurs after the 9-1-1 system has been activated.

Athen also recommends having an AED inside of your business, and teaching your employees how to use it.

”We try to teach businesses if you have a fire extinguisher to save a life by putting out a fire, why not have a defibrillator to save a life if someone drops of cardiac arrest,” Athen said.

The American red cross hosts CPR training courses every day. The program is hybrid, meaning half of the training is online. The other half is in person. Southern Missouri Executive Director Stacy Burks said trainees are required to wear a mask, and each person gets their own CPR doll to train on.

Burks said despite the pandemic, it’s important to know what to do in a life-threatening situation.

”When somebody goes into cardiac arrest chances are you are going to know that person, whether it’s a family member or a coworker,” she said. " The pandemic shouldn’t concern folks. There’s more of a chance of that person dying of that cardiac arrest than there is of you getting COVID-19 [from them].”

Burks said they also sell items that may make people more comfortable stepping in during an emergency.

”Things like people can take with them like a mask, which during COVID-19 helps provide additional protection,”Burks said.

The American Red Cross also has free online trainings, including plans for several types of emergency situations. Burks said the Red Cross app for First Aid is another free resource people can use. The app has instructions on how to do temporary First Aid in many different scenarios.

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