This week is your last chance to sign up for CPR and first aid classes with the Enumclaw Fire Department.
The classes, which range from a morning first aid-only class, an afternoon CPR and AED-only class, or a full-day class that covers all the topics, is this Saturday, Feb. 17.
Locals may recall Enumclaw Middle School student Vivan Pearlman’s brush with death back in 2022, when her heart suddenly stopped in the middle of the school day. Luckily, her teacher knew CPR and the nurse was quick to respond with the AED; first responders said that had both not been used, she would not have survived.
“Time is of the essence with a sudden cardiac arrest,” said program organizer and local firefighter Maryn Otto. “Irreversible brain damage begins at four minutes, post cardiac arrest, without intervention. After ten minutes, chances of survival are low.”
Otto noted that according to the American Heart Association, CPR can double or triple a victim’s change of survival. However, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
Most of those times is with family; the vast majority of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (more than 73%) happen at home, again according to the AHA, whereas only about 16% happen in public places.
While King County appears to be well-equipped for cardiac arrest survivability — the Global Resuscitation Alliance has said the area has a 62% survival rate, compared to a 10% survivability rate nationally — there’s always room for improvement.
In fact, some folks who learned proper CPR even just a few years ago may be surprised to learn the guidelines have changed; some examples include mouth-to-mouth is no longer recommended, chest compressions should be deeper than previously encouraged, and you shouldn’t stop performing CPR until aid arrives, as there was one report of a cardiac arrest victim who recovered about 96 minutes of continuous CPR.
To sign up for the classes, head to enumclawfire.org/classes; from there, you can pick your class and pay your fee ($50 for the morning or afternoon classes, and $75 for the whole course.
Class sizes are limited, and there is no minimum age requirement so long as anyone under 13 has an attending adult, and youth between 13 and 17 without an adult need to give prior permission before attending.
Drop-ins are not accepted.