Clay County EMS, Spencer Hospital Team Up to Offer Free Friends & Family CPR Training

posted on Thursday, April 4, 2019 in General

What would you do if your loved one had a heart attack or was choking? Would you be prepared to respond or would you have to wait desperately for help to arrive?

Anyone can be a lifesaver when informed and educated in lifesaving skills by a well-prepared instructor. Clay County Emergency Medical Services Association and Spencer Hospital are teaming up to offer four free “Friends & Family CPR/May the Force Be with You” courses on Saturday, May 4.

“The American Heart Association’s curriculum for the Friends & Family CPR course is designed for everyone from schoolchildren to adults of all ages as any one of us may encounter a situation when someone is experiencing cardiac health issues and need assistance,” explained Jeff Messerole, Clinical Instructor at Spencer Hospital. “Knowledge is power and since we’re holding the classes on May 4th, we’re borrowing the Star Wars theme of ‘May the Force Be with You’ as this two-hour training program can empower you to face a life-threatening cardiac situation.”

Messerole mentioned that Spencer Hospital and Clay County EMS professionals have teamed up in the past to offer these free sessions, yet this year they were delighted to have a sponsor.

“Last fall we received funds from Pete and Andrea Crew who wished to give back to the community for the wonderful support they received when their teenage son Austin experienced a cardiac event in the fall of 2017,” explained Susan Zulk, Spencer Hospital VP of Marketing & Fund Development. “The Crews provided a personal gift and also funds from a community benefit held on Austin’s behalf by Faith Lutheran Church. Their generosity provides support for hiring instructors for this free day of CPR training. What a phenomenal gift.”

On May 4, four two-hour classes will be held at Spencer Hospital with training session options beginning at 8 AM, 10 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM. Although the classes are free, preregistration is required as each class size is limited to 16 students. Registration is required, and you can register online.

The class is designed for laypersons and not for healthcare professionals or others who require Basic Life Support training and certification at the Heartsaver or Healthcare Provider level. The Friends & Family class focuses on CPR and response to choking, gives information on AHA's adult and pediatric chain of survival, and helps participants:

  • recognize signs of heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, and choking in adults
  • recognize signs of choking in infants and children
  • Perform the live-saving skills of CPR for adults, children, and infants.

“We are very excited to be working with our county EMS Association in providing this valuable training,” Messerole said. “Fast, efficient CPR can double or triple the chance of survival for a person experiencing cardiac arrest. Again, the class is just two hours in length yet the lessons learned in those two hours can add years to a loved one’s life.”