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Fire District Plans to Teach 7th Graders 'Hands-Only' CPR

February is American Heart Month and fire officials want to encourage and help teach everyone this life saving skill.

Patch photo archive
Patch photo archive
Information provided by the San Ramon Valley Fire District—


Considering that 350,000 Americans fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest each year, learning CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can quite possibly mean the difference between life and death. With February being American Heart Month, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and the HeartSafe Community Program challenges everyone to learn this important life saving skill.

“CPR is something everyone should learn, like riding a bike or learning to swim,” said Edie Farrell San Ramon Valley HeartSafe Community Committee member and the wife of a sudden cardiac arrest survivor.  “You never know when you will need to use CPR or whose life you will save. My ‘Valentine’ is here today because someone knew CPR and saved his life.”

San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is committed to increasing the number of citizens in our valley that know CPR and understand how to use an AED.  The District offers take home kits so residents can learn with their families.  

The District sponsors sidewalk CPR instruction at local community events and in 2014 the HeartSafe Committee has begun training every 7th grader in our valley Hands-Only CPR and the proper use of an AED. 

[Related article: San Ramon Valley HeartSafe Committee Teaching CPR at Cal…]

“With the new ‘Hands-Only’ CPR method, learning CPR is now easier than ever,” said Captain Andy Swartzell, Emergency Medical Services Coordinator for the Fire District.  “Both the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association teaches, if you see an adult collapse, simply call 911 and then push hard and fast in the center of the patient’s chest until help arrives to take over.”

San Ramon Valley Fire is passionate about cardiac care and the HeartSafe Committee is just one of the ways we show our love.  San Ramon Valley Fire is proud of the fact that our valley may be one of the safest places to experience a cardiac emergency in the United States. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Recent data has shown that patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest are far more likely to survive if that episode occurs in the San Ramon Valley. 

Nationally, if you experience a sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting, your chances of surviving hovers around 8.5 percent. Here in the San Ramon Valley your chance of survival is two times higher at 17.9 percent. Valley residents have an even greater occurrence of survival if someone witnesses their cardiac emergency and their heart is able to be shocked by an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), in this scenario the likelihood of survival increases to 46.9 percent versus 26.3 percent nationwide. 

“We are very proud of our cardiac arrest survival statistics,” said Fire Chief Paige Meyer. “We attribute our success to many factors including our 911 Communication Center who utilizes Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD), our rigorous paramedic training program, state of the art equipment on all our fire engines and ambulances, the development of our PulsePoint mobile phone app and of course the HeartSafe Committee who teaches Hands-Only CPR to over 2000 residents every year.”

For more information on CPR or to sign-up for a CPR certification class visit,www.firedepartment.org/CPR.  To learn more about the District’s HeartSafe Community Program visit,www.firedepartment.org/heartsafe.

The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is an internationally-accredited special district that provides all-risk fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, the Town of Danville, Diablo, the City of San Ramon, the southern area of Morgan Territory and the Tassajara Valley, in Northern California (Contra Costa County). The District’s service area encompasses approximately 155 square miles and serves a population of 170,000.

Alex February 20, 2014 at 05:45 PM
Patch has become such a disgrace to the news reading community. They failed to even get the title of the article right. It is "hands only cpr". Im not sure how kids can learn "hands free"cpr. If not their hands, I am not sure what they would use..

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