Everyone should know how to save a life.
The American Heart Association, in partnership with Gold Cross Emergency Medical Services, recently demonstrated the value of CPR by setting up mannequins downtown across from the James Brown statue to mark CPR and AED awareness.
Capt. Connie Waldhour of the Gold Cross Emergency Medical Services demonstrated to passers-by how to correctly perform hands-only CPR.
One-by-one Waldhour instructed participants to place their hands directly in between the center of the mannequin’s chest and push 2 inches deep into it.
After a few failed attempts Delores Wilson – an Augusta resident who said she was drawn to the table by the flailing of Heart Man, the American Heart Association’s mascot — finally grasped making complete chest compressions.
“I was attracted by the heart-shaped (mascot), and my friend and I came down to take a picture of it and then I noticed that they were doing a demo,” she said. “I have a husband who has a heart condition, so it interested me very well, and finally I got it.”
Her friend Cynthia Millsaps, who has a heart condition, assisted Wilson with her compressions along the way. Millsaps said she feels equipped not only to teach someone about hands-only CPR but also to potentially save a life.
“I have a heart condition so it makes me feel good that I actually learned how to do it,” she said. “I saw it on TV where they were learning how to do it, and he actually asked at the end, ‘I can save you, can you save me?’ so actually now I can say that I can save somebody else because I actually did it myself.”
Catherine Ramsey, the senior communications and marketing director for the American Heart Association, said the mission is to spread the message that it only takes only a minute to save someone’s life.
According to Ramsey, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die. A report from the American Heart Association states that CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
“It’s just two simple steps — call 911 and push,” Ramsay said.
Clark Rabun, who served in the Marines, said little has changed since the time he learned CPR, but to see it still being taught is reassuring.
“It used to be mouth and chest pumps and now it’s just mostly chest pumps, and they say you don’t stop until you get an emergency vehicle or somebody to help you, so that is the two changes right there,” he said.
“But I actually feel good that I can do that on someone. I hadn’t done it in a few years, and I just think that it is a very good thing for folks to learn how to do in case they need to do it.”