FIRE SMART: CPR can save a life

Feb. 16 is the date of this year’s mass CPR training

Traditionally, most of us start the new year with some very well intended New Year’s resolutions. The most common one being improving our health by losing weight and becoming more fit.

Unfortunately, for the majority of us, old habits, will power and poor planning tend to be formidable challenges and have us falling short of accomplishing our goals in only a matter of a few weeks.

Perhaps it might be a little more motivating if we realize that by sticking to our plan, we have a better chance of avoiding being one of the 44,000 Canadians who will die from heart attacks in this new year.

Seventy per cent of these heart attacks will happen at home and have the average person waiting up to four hours before seeking help.

Your lifestyle and the healthy choices you make play a huge role in whether or not you will have a heart attack or survive one if it happens. As well, the chances of surviving a heart attack are increased considerably by having someone with the knowledge and capacity to deal with this type of emergency available when they are needed.

This is why Silver Star Rotary has made it possible for thousands of people to learn CPR through their mass CPR training program.

Partnered with Vernon Fire Rescue Services, which delivers the training, this program plays an important role in the effort to keep our community safe.

Mass CPR training educates the general public in basic emergency CPR protocols which can be applied immediately in the case of someone having a heart attack.

Statistics support the concept that the earlier CPR is started on a patient, the higher the probability is of it being successful and it makes sense that when more people are able to perform CPR, the chances of it being applied early when it is most needed, increases substantially.

The first medical responder program (FMR) program delivered by Vernon Fire Rescue Services helps to supplement the effectiveness of a quick medical response and is designed to support a very busy B.C. ambulance service.

The FMR program has been directly responsible for saving six lives in 2012 with the early application of defibrillation and in most of those cases, CPR was initially applied by a friend or relative.

The significance of these two initiatives in our community can be easily equated to the number of people who are alive today and enjoying more time with their families as a result of a quick medical response supported by the early application of CPR.

Feb. 16  is the date of this year’s mass CPR training. You can register in person today and Saturday at the Village Green Centre or call 1-888-CPR-LUNG and have a receptionist take your information.

The course takes place at Clarence Fulton Secondary and involves one hour of lecture and one hour of hands-on training. There are three starting times to choose from; 9 a.m.,10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Come early and enjoy breakfast supplied by the Silver Star Rotary Club from 8 to 9 a.m.

Early medical response and CPR play a significant part in the process of saving lives and, partnered together, make the chances of a person surviving a heart attack a whole bunch better. Help us help you.

Work at keeping all of those New Year’s resolutions. Get fit and Feb. 16 come join us and learn emergency CPR.

Be able to provide the advantage of helping when help is really needed. Chances are you could be saving the life of someone you love or someone very close to you.

Lawrie Skolrood is deputy fire chief with the Vernon Fire Department.