Learning CPR Could Help Save a Heart, Save a Soul

J.D. O’Gara
Issue Date: 
February, 2020
Article Body: 

Since 1963, February has been designated by the American Heart Association as National Heart Month. As such, Local Town Pages asked local experts the benefits of learning Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.
“When it comes to cardiac arrest, the reason for CPR is, the earlier that interventions begin the better. It is a race against time, the longer the heart is not circulating oxygenated blood, the more damage that is done,” says Millis Fire Department’s EMS Coordinator Brian Polimeno. “If an individual witnesses a cardiac arrest and only calls 911, it could be 10 minutes or more for a trained individual or group to arrive and begin CPR. Early CPR increases the chances of a positive outcome for a person in cardiac arrest. The goal is not only to restart a stalled heart, but also see that person walk out of the hospital at a later date. Early recognition leads to early CPR, early contact for emergency services and the best chance at a positive outcome.”

In fact, Millis Fire Department offers CPR and First Aid classes to the community.
“We teach the AHA Heartsaver CPR/AED program as well as a separate AHA First Aid program.  The program includes training on patients from infants to adults.  We are also certified to teach Healthcare Provider level CPR for those people that work in the healthcare field.  All program attendees will receive a certification that is valid for 2 years,” says Polimeno, who says Millis Fire Department’s goal is to offer a CPR class every other month and maybe increase to every month depending on numbers.  “We like to have a minimum of 5-6 students per class, up to about 12 per session. We have two new enthusiastic instructors that will help to facilitate this,” he says.
“For now, most of our classes are groups that approach us for the certification, many of which are repeat groups,” he says. “Right now, the best way is for someone is to gather three or four friends or coworkers, and we will schedule a training for them,” he says.  
Medway Fire Department, too, hopes to soon offer CPR classes, says Medway firefighter Christopher Stygles. “It’s something we’re going to ramp up for the spring,” he says, noting that the department has also done it for groups. “When classes become available, they can look to the Medway Fire Department, on our website or our Facebook page, or the town of Medway Facebook page as well.”
Another place to find CPR training is to look to Medway Community Education, which offers CPR training in every season. Anyone 13 and older can sign up for the session for this month’s class, AMERICAN SAFETY & HEALTH – First Aid & CPR, with Juanita Allen Kingsley, on February 3rd, from 6-9 p.m. at Burke-Memorial School, for a cost of $85 (15% senior discount and active military). Participants are taught how to handle injuries and manage illness in the first few minutes until help arrives. This course meets the requirements of child care providers, teachers, foster care workers, camp counselors, Scout leaders, youth organizations, coaches, babysitters and parents.
Visit www.medwayce.org or contact our office at (508) 533-3222 option 4. 
“Anyone can and should learn CPR,” says Polimeno. “There is no minimum age for students. Discretion for younger students really is based on whether they can understand the subject matter. There are many roles involved in CPR such as chest compressions, rescue breathing, finding/retrieving an AED, that are suitable for rescuers of any age.” Polimeno explains that CPR also trains students to recognize and intervene in the cases of choking as well, giving them skills and steps to administer aid.