Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
Los Angeles County firefighters were on hand on June 2 for the annual Hands- Only CPR Sidewalk Day. The one-day annual event is coordinated by the L.A. County Emergency Medical Services Agency, the L.A. County Fire Dept. and the American Heart Association to help improve cardiac arrest survival. The Hands-Only CPR events train people in responding to an emergency medical need.
Over 80% of all cardiac arrests occur in the home, according to LACoFD. Currently only 3% of these cardiac arrest victims in L.A. County survive; nearly 383,000 people suffer cardiac arrest every year away from a hospital environment.
On Thursday, the CPR Sidewalk event at the Ralphs Marketplace in La Crescenta trained anyone interested in learning this potentially life-saving information. The training took less than three minutes. It focused on the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest. These first few minutes are very important because the lungs and blood store only enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for a limited amount of time. Chest compressions used during CPR can provide the ongoing blood flow needed until emergency responders arrive.
Other fire agencies, including Glendale Fire Dept., participated in the event at various locations.