On Friday, January 10, TVF&R staff and firefighters from Station 50 trained 130 8th grade health students to perform and teach hands-only CPR. Using portable manikins donated by TVF&R, each student learned and committed to teach five friends and family members this life-saving skill. Students will receive class credit for doing so.
Health teacher Cindy Pellicci states, "Fowler Middle School students are excited to be the first Tigard public school to partner with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and learn hands-only CPR. They care deeply about their community and are keenly aware that despite their youth, they are being empowered to make a difference in a cardiac victim's survival by learning this skill."
In addition to receiving heart-health education and CPR instruction, students received information on TVF&R's mobile app called PulsePoint, which they can download themselves and share with others. The app, which was adopted by TVF&R nearly one year ago, notifies subscribers of a cardiac arrest in a public place within a quarter-mile radius of their location.
Knowing how to perform hands-only CPR is the first step. Subscribing to the PulsePoint app is the next. Because a cardiac arrest is likely fatal without intervention in the first 4-6 minutes, PulsePoint subscribers can help bridge the gap by performing hands-only CPR between the time a patient goes into cardiac arrest and when first responders arrive on scene to administer advanced medical care. When CPR is provided right away, it doubles or triples a cardiac victim's survival rate.
Friday's class alone has the potential to add 780 citizen responders who know CPR to the community, strengthening the cardiac chain of survival. TVF&R firefighters respond to more than 1,000 cardiac-related calls every year. Over the past several years, survival rates for cardiac arrest in TVF&R's service area have ranged between 11 and 22 percent, surpassing the national average. This achievement is possible thanks to partnerships such as these between the fire district and the community.