OCEANSIDE — City firefighter paramedics joined in a statewide Sidewalk CPR Day with the aim to train more than 350 people within three hours on June 4.
The goal of the day is to train everyone in basic lifesaving skills so victims of sudden cardiac arrest can receive hands-only CPR immediately.
Firefighter paramedic Blaine Hensley said people from all walks of life stopped by the three streetside training tents set up at Oceanside Pier beach and the Civic Center Plaza.
The walk-up training showed people how to perform life-saving chest compressions on an adult, teen and baby mannequin.
The drill: check for a response, call 9-1-1, position the victim face up and start hard, fast, straight down compressions.
To help people learn the correct rhythm to administer compressions the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” blasted in the background as a metronome to follow.
Training also shared the PulsePoint phone app that alerts those who are trained to the site of an emergency, and informs them on where the closest automated external defibrillator is located.
Lynne Seabloom, registered nurse, emergency medical technician-paramedic and Oceanside Fire Department emergency medical services manager, said the app allows immediate help to get to a person in need. She added many times it is the efforts of trained citizens that keeps a sudden cardiac arrest victim alive until first responders arrive.
Having more than one trained person at the site allows people to switch off as they tire.
Two people learning CPR last Thursday were 9 year olds Maddie Gray and Bella Thomson. Del Thomson, of Utah, said Maddie wants to be a trauma doctor when she gets older.
“They’re all about it,” Thomson said.
The two girls signed in for training and closely followed instructions on correct hand placement and speed of compressions.
Hensley was leading the training. He said the more people who know CPR the safer we all are.
“The more people we have trained, the quicker we’ll have a responder,” Hensley said.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was not taught.
Seabloom said administering chest compressions is the most vital help to give a person who does not have a pulse. She added many people are reluctant to give a stranger mouth to mouth CPR, but more step forward to administer compressions.
The hard facts are close to 1,000 people in the U.S. die of sudden cardiac arrest a year. Sadly 60 percent of victims do not receive CPR until first responders arrive. For every minute that passes, the odds of a victim’s survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent.
Last year Oceanside firefighter paramedics trained 363 people on Sidewalk CPR Day. Seabloom said this year’s counts are not in, but they hope to increase the number from last year.