Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 9:59 am | Overcast 65º


20 Minutes to Save a Life: Hands-Only CPR Training Planned in Carpinteria

The Carpinteria-Summerland Firefighters Association in conjunction with Smart Community CPR, a Central California Coast nonprofit, will train members of the public in how to recognize and effectively treat people who have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

There will be a free public event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 28 at Veterans Hall, 831 Walnut Ave. in Carpinteria. The complete training takes only 20 minutes.

Every day, an estimated 1,000 Americans suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. On the average, only about 10 percent of these victims survive. The first two keys to survival are early recognition of cardiac arrest and early hands-only chest compressions by a witness. If these two conditions are met, SCA survival rates improve dramatically.

There are many reasons bystanders fail to help. Number one is that most people don’t feel confident they can help. Very few people are trained in CPR and those who are may doubt their ability to remember their training correctly. Traditional CPR classes are relatively expensive and time-consuming, making it difficult for people to refresh their skills. In addition, many people are afraid to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a stranger.

Smart Community CPR overcomes all of these barriers.

“Smart CPR focuses on chest compression,” said Jim Emerson, paramedic/firefighter with the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department and a founding member of Smart Community CPR. “The chances of survival are time-dependent, meaning that we, as professional rescuers, need the public to recognize that a person has collapsed, is unconscious and not breathing, and immediately call 9-1-1. If they can also access an automatic external defibrillator, that’s a lifesaver, too. Next, proper hands-only CPR should be initiated. Effective chest compression keeps oxygenated blood moving to the heart and brain until emergency medical personnel can arrive. We need the public to act with confidence and skill to dramatically increase the chances of survival.”

The ability to recognize SCA and act is a rather simple skill. Smart Community CPR has developed a two-step approach to educate and train every-day people to perform this lifesaving act. The first step is to view and interact with a training video — a tool that teaches the first steps to take when witnessing an SCA. After completing the interactive video training, the rescuer then learns how to do effective hands-only chest compressions on a feedback manikin. The manikin measures the rate, depth and recoil of each compression. Proper chest compressions are vital to survival.

“We utilize an AmbuSmartMan manikin that provides immediate feedback on what compressions are effective,” Emerson said. “This feedback gives people the skills and the confidence to step in and save a life in the event of an SCA.”

The technique can be performed effectively by anyone. After a recent training at San Marcos High School, all except one participant said they would feel competent and confident enough to respond if they witnessed an SCA. The lone participant who doubted her confidence said she could and would take over for a few minutes if a primary responder grew tired.

SmartCommunityCPR’s mission is to educate a critical mass of lay people who are both willing and competent to act in the event of an SCA.

“We estimate that we need to train 10 percent of the community in order to produce a measurable increase in SCA survival,” Emerson says. “But that’s a worthwhile goal.”

The event in Carpinteria will be staffed and supported by the Carpinteria-Summerland Firefighter Association.

“Please join us in helping save lives,” Emerson says. “We can’t do it without you.”

For more information about the Save a Life Smart Community CPR event, click here or contact Bin Anderson at 805.453.6538 or Emerson at 805.570.9061.

 — Leslee Goodman is a publicist representing Smart Community CPR.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >