According to the American Heart Association, cardiopulmonary resuscitation provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
The Enumclaw Fire Department wants to improve the chances of survival for those who live on the Plateau by offering free CPR and First Aid classes.
“Every person I’ve ever done CPR on, and has made it, had citizen CPR started first,” said firefighter and EMT Ryan Rodenberg, who will be teaching the Enumclaw classes.
King County 28 was able to send Rodenberg, a former middle school and special education teacher, to training so the department can offer the classes on a monthly basis.
The first class, a CPR and First Aid combination, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 14. The second class, CPR only, will be offered from 6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 26.
According to the AHA, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has lapsed and 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur in the home.
“Chances are you’ll be saving someone you love who lives in your house,” Rodenberg said.
Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
“King County is one of the best places in the world to have a heart attack, because so many people are trained in CPR,” Rodenberg said.
Classes are limited to 12 and will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in participating are asked to stop by the station, 1330 Wells St., to register. For information or a list of future classes, call the station at 360-825-5544 or visit the website at kcfd28.org.