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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

February 12, 2019 (San Diego) -- Why is knowing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) important? Well first, what would you do if a family member, friend or coworker went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)? Would you know what to do? SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes. It is estimated that 95 percent of victims of cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital or other source of emergency help.

When someone falls victim to sudden cardiac arrest their heart stops beating in an orderly manner. The once efficient beat has deteriorated to a quivering: this is called fibrillation. This quivering does not adequately pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. Vital organs like the heart and brain will rapidly start to fail in a matter of minutes. In fact, statistically speaking, the chance of surviving SCA is lowered by as much as 10 percent for each passing minute without blood circulating.

Let’s suppose we have a victim of SCA. They’ve collapsed, are unconscious, unresponsive, and are not breathing normally. Time is passing and the victim’s chances for survival are rapidly decreasing. Their heart is not pumping. They need someone to act as a replacement pump. This someone could be you!

February is National Heart Awareness Month. There’s not a better time to be formally trained and certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to provide assistance to someone in need.  Although CPR training is recommended and will definitely help provide familiarity and confidence, and while CPR certification is even more comprehensive, the process of CPR can be simplified for the lay rescuer. Dial 9-1-1 to call EMS (Emergency Medical Services), then push hard and fast in the center of the chest (at least 100 compressions a minute) until help arrives. Check out

Contact your local Fire Department or American Heart Association to learn more because there’s no time like the present to get it done!

Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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