HOW TO SAVE A LIFE: Area residents take advantage of CPR training

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A volunteer listens to instructions on proper CPR methods. The county’s COAD held a free CPR training this past weekend at Calvary Baptist Church Community Room where people were trained in adult and pediatric first aid/CPR/AED with ASHI 2-year certification presented by Arise Safety and CPR. Saturday, March 18, 2023.

GREENFIELD — Kneeling down beside the safety training mannequin, the people being trained in CPR Saturday morning were repeatedly reminded by instructors to pick up the pace and to press deeper while giving chest compression’s.

“If you’re doing it right, you will want to maintain between 100 and 120 compression’s per minute while you’re compressing into the chest deep enough,” said CPR instructor Kobi Young.

Thanks to a grant from the Greenfield Sertoma, officials with the Hancock County Community Organization Active in Disaster group was able to offer the training to local residents at no charge this past weekend.

“We’re very pleased with the turnout and the program that was taught,” said COAD chairman Jim Peters, who also took the class.

The five-hour training session took place at Calvary Baptist Church, 1450 West Main St., Greenfield. For the 20 people who took part in the intense instruction, they walked out with an Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, two-year certification and the satisfaction they have the knowledge and ability to save a life.

“I just wanted to do this to be able to help give back to the community,” class participant Michael Jenkins said. “Yeah, I’m learning a lot.”

Presented by Arise Safety and CPR, a certified group out of Indianapolis, the owner of the organization, Amanda Starr, and two of her instructors worked throughout the session, teaching life-saving skills to local residents who can now use the skills to help out in their own neighborhoods when a major incident occurs.

“CPR is extremely important and it’s life-saving,” Starr said. “Statistically, only about 10% of people who go into cardiac arrest survive, and the one way to survive is through CPR and the use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).”

The near-death of NFL player Demar Hamlin, who collapsed on the playing field in front of a live audience and on national television, needed life-saving CPR to survive. The event has sparked an interest nationally and locally for more people to get trained, Starr noted.

“Over 70% of heart incidents happen outside of a hospital, so the more people who can be trained the better,” Starr said.

For the 20 volunteers who signed up for the training locally, they learned the basics of CPR through videos and hands-on training.

“We make sure that each person who takes part can do all the different skills, including the compressions and the breaths as well as how to work the AED,” Starr said.

From learning how to check the scene for safety hazards and to get resources from other people at a scene, the training was fast-paced and informative.

One of the participants, Hancock County resident Jim Webb, a former Indianapolis Metropolitan Fire Department paramedic and ER nurse, alerted those being trained in CPR to watch out for the victim’s actions when administering aid. Particularly, he said, if the heart issue is drug-related. Webb warned the person can come up swinging.

“Be sure to make sure their spare hand can not hit you square in the face,” Webb said.

He also warned people learning CPR to be prepared for the chest bones, including the sternum, to break or give way.

“When you push on the rib cage, you are going to hear a bunch of snap, crackle and pop,” Webb said. “That is normal, because the sternum starts breaking lose.”

Young, who has been a full-time instructor for a while now, agreed with Webb’s advice and told those in training to keep giving CPR when the sound of bones giving way happens.

“A person can recover from a fracture and broken ribs and, remember, the alternative in this situation is death,” Young said. “About 75% of males and 85% of women will experience broken bones when CPR is done to them because you are dislocating cartilage.”

The other instructor, Amy Beidou, spoke to the group and shared first-hand knowledge on CPR. She had a heart issue when she was 33 and needed to have CPR performed on her in order to survive. She’s now 36, sharing and teaching CPR skills.

“This is a very personal mission for me,” Beidou said. “One of my co-workers knew the skill and saved me.”

Beidou noted it was heart-warming to see so many volunteers in Hancock County show up for the training because she noted people who know how to do CPR are the first first responders.

“The biggest thing is if a person believes another person is suffering a heart issue is to give the compressions,” Beidou said.