Learning CPR in a day

May 22, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

More than 30 people learned the basics of CPR at Valley Mall Saturday from a staff of 16 trained Emergency Medical Technicians from the Maryland State Police and several area rescue companies.

Called Bystander CPR Day, the day-long event was the culmination of EMS Week in Washington County, said Brent A. Bankson, spokesman for Community Rescue Service, Inc., in Hagerstown.

The week began Monday with a proclamation followed by an open house at Community Rescue Service headquarters on Franklin Street Wednesday attended by more than 300 people, Bankson said.

Static displays included a Maryland State Police helicopter that landed in the Valley Mall parking lot. Ambulance and other rescue vehicles were parked inside the mall as static displays.


The course included a half-hour video presentation and a half-hour of hands-on training using dummies. Walk-ins were welcome, Bankson said.

Jamie Weddle, 13, of Hagerstown, completed the one-hour course to win her certification as a Bystander CPR.

She plans to be a counselor in a 4-H camp in Garrett County this summer and needed the special training. "I learned what to do when someone stops breathing or is choking," she said. "I feel confident that I could help someone now."

TFC. Donald Lehman, one of 50 flight paramedics who serves on one of the eight state police helicopters, said the CPR courses teach people what to do when they first arrive on the scene of an accident, heart attack, drowning or other disaster. He said even minimal CPR training increases the survival rate of victims.

"It's a great, easy way to learn the basics," Bankson said. "You can learn to prolong life long enough for the ambulance to arrive, to maintain oxygen to the vital organs."

Lehman said about 70 percent of the chopper flights are medical related. The rest do search and rescue and law enforcement missions.

Other companies taking part Saturday were the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association and the Williamsport, Clear Spring and Sharpsburg ambulance squads, Bankson said.

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