After two Herriman City snow plow drivers were awarded in February for helping to save a man’s life, Unified Fire Authority wanted to stress the importance of learning CPR.
Travis Dinger and Gunner Kelsch, both 19, took a CPR and AED (defibrillator) class through Herriman City just a month before encountering a distress situation as they were driving around a Herriman neighborhood.
“I was being trained by Gunner, so I was driving, and he pointed out that he thought some people were doing CPR on a guy,” said Dinger. “When we pulled over and got out to help as we could see the man’s face was purple and the those helping him were performing mouth to mouth but not chest compressions.”
Dinger said both he and Kelsch jumped in to take over, and it felt more like instinct as they didn’t really have time to think about the training they had received.
“I feel like it just kicked in, to know what to do,” said Kelsch. “I have my Eagle Scout, and I also learned CPR then, so I just knew what to do.”
It would be several minutes before emergency personnel would arrive.
Matt McFarland with Unified Fire Authority who taught that class at Herriman City said the men took the initiative to do everything to help try to keep the man alive.
“They were doing such highly efficient CPR that our crews who arrived about 5 minutes later could identify as they pulled up that it was best to have them continue what they were doing, while medical personnel set up and prepared advanced maneuvers,” said McFarland. “By doing compressions it made the difference between him surviving and losing his life.”
On March 13, Dinger and Kelsch, along with the man’ wife, and neighbors were awarded with the Unified Fire’s Civilian Lifesaving Award.
Also awarded were crews from Unified Station 103, ambulance 221 and Herriman City Police officers.
McFarland said very rarely is CPR not effective if it’s done right and that it is simple to learn and extremely effective.
“If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved,” said McFarland. “In that 5-7 minutes before we get there, the compressions could help by keeping the blood pumping through the body and oxygen to their brains.”
If you are interested in the training or are considering having your employee’s trained in life-saving measures click here
If you cannot attend a class, McFarland recommends watching a short video and learning CPR at home with your family.
According to The American Heart Association, some 350,000 cases occur each year outside of a hospital, and the survival rate is less than 12 percent.
They say CPR can double or triple the chances of survival.
“Seventy-percent of cardiac arrests happen in homes, but for those that happen in a workplace, a recent American Heart Association survey found that most U.S. employees are not prepared for a cardiac emergency,” said their website.
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