Save a life: SPFD to offer Hands-Only
CPR training at Vons, Cruise Nite

June 03, 2015
Santa Paula News

Hundreds of Santa Paulans can make a life-or-death difference in the life of their loved ones only because they took a free two-minute course: and Hands-Only CPR, also known as Sidewalk CPR, will be taught in two easy to attend  sessions this week.

According to Andy VanSciver, the Santa Paula Fire Department PIO, Hands-Only CPR will be taught Thursday, June 4 from 3 to 6 p.m. outside Vons grocery store, in the Santa Paula Shopping Center (500 block of West Main Street). Hands-Only CPR will also be taught at Friday’s Cruise Nite held from 5 p.m. to dusk on East Main Street.

The SPFD usually sets up at the corner of Mill Street and East Main Street for the CPR lessons…look for the department’s popup and/its golf cart redone as a mini-emergency response unit.

Learning CPR is fun, easy, takes only a few minutes and at Cruise Nite will give you the chance to win a La Cabana Restaurant gift certificate, as there will be a special raffle for those that complete the lesson.

“Chief Rick Arazia’s plan is to offer the Hands-Only CPR training at all of the Cruise Nites this year,” until the season ends with the October car show.

One Cruise Nite set a record of sorts when SPFD Firefighters were able to instruct 73 men, women and children — yes, children — how to perform Hands-Only CPR.

Cardiac arrest an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs is a leading cause of death. Each year, over 326,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States

According to the American Heart Association, about 70 percent of out of hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes and residential settings.

“If you are called upon to give CPR in an emergency,” said VanSciver, “you will most likely be trying to save the life of a someone you love,” whether a child, spouse, parent or friend.

It is unfortunate that now only about 39 percent of people who experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.

Hands Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR — which used mouth-to-mouth breaths — for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public. 

“Applying CPR can double, even triple a victim’s chance of survival,” and most that don’t receive immediate CPR die.

Even if a stranger collapses said VanSciver, “Don’t be afraid, your actions can only help,” narrow the margin between life and death.

 If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 9-1-1 (stay on the phone till professional help arrives or the operator tells you to hang up) and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic Bee Gees disco song “Stayin’ Alive.” CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival, and “Stayin’ Alive” has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.

“Just at a few recent Cruise Nites alone we’ve taught more than 125 people how to do Hands-Only CPR,” said Chief Araiza, and added to the hundreds of others that have trained at other events, “That’s a lot of new lifesavers in Santa Paula…but we’d like to see many, many more.”

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