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Posted on February 12, 2013 | 2:06 p.m.

Help a Heart on Valentine’s Day with Free ‘Hands-Only’ CPR Training

Source: Susan Klein-Rothschild for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! As a part of Hands Helping Hearts, a collaborative outreach between Santa Barbara County EMS Agency and local fire departments and ambulance agencies, several opportunities for free “hands only” CPR training for members of the community will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at various locations throughout the county.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death nationally and locally, with an estimated 630,000 deaths per year in the United States and more than 700 deaths per year in Santa Barbara County.

Approximately 200 cardiac arrest victims are being treated locally each year by the emergency medical services system. The prompt delivery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) more than doubles a cardiac arrest victim’s change of survival by helping maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain. By increasing the number of adults trained in “Hands Only” CPR in our community, we can increase the survival rate of cardiac victims. Please join us in saving lives!

Local emergency medical services agencies are joining to offer free “hands only” CPR training for adults. Partner agencies include American Medical Response, all regional and city fire departments, Sheriff’s Search & Rescue, Medical Reserve Corps and hospitals. Each agency will staff one or more locations in the community where the public can go to receive a less than five-minute training session on Thursday. It may save a life in the future!

A listing of emergency medical service agencies and their free training locations are listed below:

» American Medical Response — Santa Maria Town Center Mall and Albertsons Grocery Store in Orcutt

» Carpinteria/Summerland Fire Department — Albertsons in Carpinteria

» Guadalupe Fire Department — Downtown Guadalupe

» Lompoc City fire Department — Vons Shopping Center- Lompoc

» Montecito Fire Department — South Village Montecito (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

» Santa Barbara City Fire Department — Paseo Nuevo Mall in Santa Barbara

» Santa Maria City Fire Department — Santa Maria Town Center Mall Courtyard

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

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