Valley Catholic School students will join Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighters and Tigard Police in teaching hands-only CPR to Washington Square mall guests on Saturday, February 20, from noon to 3 p.m. in the event space below the food court.
The school is a leader when it comes to promoting and teaching the lifesaving technique. In 2011, TVF&R and Valley Catholic Middle School implemented the first partnership in Oregon between a fire department and school to teach hands-only CPR. Since then, students who received training have taught more than 5,000 people hands-only CPR, resulting in two people's lives being saved.
Knowing that Washington Square mall averages a large number of shoppers on any given Saturday and has been a proponent of training its staff in emergency procedures, students approached the mall's management and TVF&R firefighters to help them accomplish their goal of teaching Washington County residents hands-only CPR during National Heart Month.
Every year, more than 420,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest, many before ever reaching a hospital. Because a victim's chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for each minute without CPR from the time of arrest, bystander intervention is crucial. When citizens are willing and able to provide early CPR, and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are readily available, the chances of a patient surviving a cardiac event are increased.
Rebecca Lesley, senior marketing manager at Washington Square states, "At Washington Square, our team members are trained and certified in CPR and AEDs every year. We have seen this training result in lives saved at the mall. We support firefighters' and students' efforts to teach this lifesaving skill to our guests and retailers and expand the network of citizens who are trained to respond to a cardiac emergency."
Law enforcement agencies have partnered with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue to increase cardiac arrest survivability. Many officers and deputies throughout Washington County are trained to respond in the event of a cardiac arrest call. Specifically, all Tigard patrol vehicles now carry an AED and respond to cardiac arrest calls.
During the three-hour event, students, police officers and firefighters will demonstrate how easy it is to perform hands-only CPR when someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, helping those who they teach practice the skill on mannequins.
Pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest to the exact beat of the Bee Gees' song "Staying Alive" can maintain circulation and breathing for a cardiac patient until firefighter paramedics arrive to begin advanced medical care.