Posted on: February 1, 2017
TVF&R, Tigard Police and Valley Catholic School Teach Hands-Only CPR at Washington Square Mall
Valley Catholic Middle School students will join Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) firefighters and Tigard Police in teaching hands-only CPR to Washington Square Mall guests and retailers on Saturday, February 4, from noon to 3 p.m. in the event space below the food court. Firefighters will be wearing red t-shirts at the event and during the month of February to promote conversation and action regarding heart health, CPR, cardiac emergencies, and the chain of survival.
Students, police officers and firefighters will demonstrate how easy it is to perform hands-only CPR by practicing 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.
Valley Catholic Middle School is a leader when it comes to promoting and teaching the technique. In 2011, TVF&R and Valley Catholic 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 8,000 people hands-only CPR.
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 Heart Month.
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.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest each year before getting to a hospital and about 90% do not survive. 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 community members 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 increase.