Peninsula Fireman Dave Henderson uses Captain Patrick Campbell as a “volunteer victim” during a CPR/AED class at Fire Station #2, as he demonstrates how to place an unconscious, but breathing casualty in a recovery position after successful CPR. Photos by Gregg Scott

Learning to save a life

The Peninsula Fire CPR/AED classes include about four hours of both classroom and hands-on instruction covering treatment measures for adults, children and infants. So far, there has been a 100 percent successful completion rate.

There are so many reasons for every individual to take the time to be trained in the life saving skills of CPR and AED — cardio pulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillation.

Peninsula Fire Chief Gary Pini reported at the June 20 board meeting there were 17 responses to calls in May. Eleven of those calls were for medical assistance.

That is just one reason the Peninsula Fire Protection District (PFPD) is, and has been, hosting CPR/AED classes at Fire Station #2.

There was a class in May, another June 16, and one more will take place Saturday, Aug. 4.

Consider that on any given day someone you know — a friend, neighbor, family member or a someone you’re sitting next to at an event — could suddenly collapse and need immediate medical assistance.

Even if you are not alone, are you going to stand there and hope someone else is going to save his or her life?

There are numerous occasions where immediate medical attention is needed: heart attacks, strokes, drowning and extreme trauma (accidents) just to name a few, but sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most frequent causes of death in the world.

CPR/AED is the key to treating all of these situations to some extent and that in itself is reason enough to learn the proper response.

Sudden cardiac arrest is usually caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart that disrupts the pumping action, thereby stopping the blood flow.

The main symptoms are loss of consciousness and unresponsiveness.

This medical emergency needs immediate CPR or use of a defibrillator.

It is estimated that after only four minutes brain damage begins to occur and after 10 minutes it is unlikely the individual can be saved.

Depending on location, response time in most areas can easily take five to 15 minutes.

The PFPD classes include full instruction for proper CPR treatment and use of a portable AED unit. Each person receives a certificate after successful completion of the class.

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