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Chumash Casino Resort, AMR Team Up to Offer Free ‘Hands-Only’ CPR Training

As part of American Medical Response’s World CPR Challenge, the Chumash Casino Resort will be offering free “hands only” CPR training from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 21 at the casino’s main entrance.

AMR Santa Barbara has designated three sites — Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria, Walmart in Santa Maria and the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez — as hubs for emergency professionals to train citizens in this nuanced CPR method, which doesn’t involve mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

“We’ve learned from research studies that compression-only CPR is more effective, and it’s changed the way emergency professionals resuscitate people,” said Les Hugie, clinical manager with AMR Santa Barbara. “We’ve learned that there is plenty of oxygen in our blood once we’ve collapsed, so it’s a matter of pushing hard and fast on the chest to get the heart to pump that oxygen to the brain.”

The training sessions will take about two minutes and feature special prizes. AMR Santa Barbara and the Chumash Casino Resort’s EMT department will conduct the training in the newly renovated breezeway that leads to the casino’s main entrance.

“We’re proud to partner with AMR Santa Barbara and utilize our own talented EMT department to help train citizens to save lives with this form of CPR,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Hugie added that having bystanders trained in compression-only CPR can ultimately save the life of a cardiac arrest victim.

“When our professionals are first on the scene, we’re focused on compression, not ventilation,” Hugie said. “And if bystanders are trained in this method and can sustain a person until emergency medical professionals arrive on the scene, that person in need has a better chance for survival. If a sudden cardiac arrest victim goes four minutes without CPR, it could result in brain damage. Every second counts.”

The AMR World CPR Challenge is a global effort to train as many citizens as possible in a 24-hour period. Last year, more than 50,000 people met the challenge and became certified in the compression-only method.

AMR Santa Barbara provides emergency medical transport service for Santa Barbara County. AMR Santa Barbara employs approximately 125 paramedics and EMTs and handles approximately 34,000 calls annually.

Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, the Chumash Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The casino’s gaming floor is open 24/7 and features 2,000 slot machines, dozens of table games, bingo, poker, and daily cash and prize giveaways.

Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist for the Chumash Casino Resort.

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