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Firefighter/paramedic Jose Rivera  teaches Bayport residents Chris Lake, Arlene Scarlett and Sue Rosen how to use an automatic external defibrillator Feb. 3 at the north fire station.
Longboat Key Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 3 years ago

CPR session popularity climbs

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More than 80 people attended free CPR training sessions Feb. 3 at the north fire station, prompting the Fire Rescue Department to consider more classes this season.
by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Longboat Key Fire Rescue hosted its first free CPR training sessions Feb. 3 for residents at the north fire station and Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi was overwhelmed by the turnout.

More than 80 Key residents attended the hour-long sessions Feb. 3 and learned about the importance of CPR and automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).

“It’s amazing to see the involvement,” Dezzi said. “This is great education for our community.”

Lt. Brian Carr, who organized and taught the lesson along with the help of some other firefighter/paramedics without pay after a shift, told those in attendance that they can help save lives.

Carr said that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is not needed and residents don’t need to check for a pulse before beginning CPR.

“If the person isn’t breathing, do CPR,” Carr said. “That alone continues to circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body that gives that person a better chance to live before we arrive to take over.”

Carr and other firefighter/paramedics taught residents to do CPR on plastic dummies at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.

“It’s simple, but it’s a workout,” Carr said.

Carr also gave residents a lesson on how to use AEDs, many of which are already installed in condominium hallways and recreation center areas.

AEDs are portable devices that check the heart rhythm. If needed, the devices can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest.

Bayport resident Arlene Scarlett called the AED lesson very helpful.

“It certainly takes the fear out of the equation,” Scarlett said.

Dezzi said the large turnout has the fire department working to schedule future CPR and AED classes in the future.

In the meantime, the fire department will be hosting two more classes at the Longboat Key Open House scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 12 at the Public Safety Complex, 5400 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

For more information, contact Lt. Carr at 316-1944 or [email protected].

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