Dozens of senior citizens were inside of the Alpena Senior Citizens Center on Wednesday to learn a new training.
Alpena firefighters, and paramedics provided hands only CPR demonstrations just in case seniors found themselves in a an emergency situation.
“Seniors are a perfect audience. They’re very caring, so this is a great audience for people who are willing to step up and help their neighbor,” Fire Chief, Bill Forebush said.
Using the hands only technique, more lives have been saved.
“For a while it was hard to get people who were willing to step up and do hands on. Now that we’ve gone to hands on and got rid of the ‘mouth to mouth’ with the general public I think that’s helping a lot. With the new high performance CPR that our first responders and paramedics are doing we’ve actually been able to increase the survival rating in cardiac arrest in some communities and we’re starting to see that here in Alpena from the national 10 to 8 percent, which is 60 percent if all of those links are in place. So we have the links here Alpena but the key is the seniors and people like them who are willing to recognize an emergency, contact 911 and do hands on CPR until professional responders can arrive,” he added.
With seniors, other medical conditions could make a person trying to save their life hesitant.
“Some of the people at the class were asking about a patient with blood thinners, or pacemakers. We were able to dispel some of those concerns and encourage them to perform CPR even in that event,” Firefighter and EMS, Tyler Suszek said.
The free class was offered thanks to MiREMS in celebration of National Rural Health Day.