Valley Catholic students will join Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighters and Tigard Police in teaching hands-only CPR to Washington Square Mall guests and retailers on Saturday, February 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the area 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 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.
“Washington Square is one of the most frequented shopping centers in the Portland area with upwards of several thousand shoppers visiting the property on any given Saturday,” said Maria Halstead, Senior Property Manager at Washington Square. “We are proud to support our local Tualatin Valley first responders and their efforts to spread awareness of heart health and to teach our visitors how to perform CPR and live-saving techniques. With as many shoppers that walk through our door, we hope Washington Square’s visibility will lead to more people receiving proper CPR training and hopefully help save lives in the process.”
According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 people experience cardiac arrest each year outside of a hospital setting. A victim’s chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for each minute without CPR from the time of arrest, making bystander intervention 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.