Tyler Fire Department aims to train at least 500 residents in hands-only CPR

Published on Friday, 11 August 2017 19:53 - Written by LOUANNA CAMPBELL, lcampbell@tylerpaper.com

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The Tyler Fire Department is urging the public to learn hands-only CPR. The department said it will train anyone who wants to learn the lifesaving technique, which only takes about 90 seconds of training to become proficient. 

“I would really prefer to have 98,000 people in Tyler that know how to do CPR, but our goal is to train 500 people,” Assistant Chief Michael Frost said. “Hands-on CPR can circulate oxygen in the blood stream and bridge a gap between the initial phone call to 911 and the arrival of first responders to a person in cardiac arrest.”

More than 350,000 people die each year from cardiac arrest, and 48 percent of those occur at home, according to Frost. 

“We want people to do something between the four to eight minutes of time between a 911 call and arrival of first responders,” Frost said. “CPR is done by positioning the hands in the center of the person’s chest and pushing down hard and fast at about 100 thrusts per minute.” 

Frost said the rhythm of the thrusts can be attained by thinking of popular songs like “Staying Alive,” “Walk the Line” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” 

In addition to the hands-free CPR training, the department received 15 new automated external defibrillators. The devices come with child and adult paddles that can be plugged into ETMC’s AED packs. 

The new devices will help Tyler first responder bridge another gap in emergency care. The old devices could not connect to the defibrillator that the ETMC ambulance crews carry. 

The new AED paddles come with a cord that can be disconnected from the machine and plugged into the East Texas Medical Center devices. Frost said this saves valuable time in an emergency situation. 

Anyone who wants to learn hands-free CPR should contact the fire department to check availability. The Tyler Fire Department will conduct the training at upcoming community events. The training is free and participants will receive a card with the instructions.