Following the receipt of a grant for 12 CPR training mannequins with feedback devices from Illinois Heart Rescue, Collinsville firefighters took the opportunity to go into local schools to teach CPR.

Firefighter Nick Klucker secured the grant and is leading this effort.

The focus of this grant is to provide Bystander CPR (BCRP). BCRP includes recognizing a problem (the victim does not respond to their name or if touched and is not breathing or not breathing normally), to call 911, send for an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and to push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives, then turn on the AED and follow the prompts. BCPR can double or triple the survival for victims suffering cardiac arrest.

For every minute that a victim of sudden cardiac arrest does not receive CPR their chance of death increases by 10 percent. That means if no BCRP is performed within 10 minutes, the victim has a 0 percent chance of survival. The sooner BCRP is started the more likely the victim will survive and return to their life with full mental function.

“The goal is to get as many people to learn CPR as we can,” Klucker said. “With this grant we now have great mannequins that help people learn how to do CPR.”

The first class was held for over 30 students at Saint Peter and Paul Catholic School with an additional class was taught at Good Shepard Lutheran School with approximately 16 students. The school CPR class lasts around 40 minutes, and they cover how to properly do CPR, the importance of starting chest compressions as soon as possible, the rate that chest compressions need to be done at, along with other useful information.

At the end of the class a competition is held to see what group can keep the light green the longest.

“The kids are enjoying it,” Klucker said. “The competition really draws them in and when they see the light turn green, they know they are doing it right and you can really see the sense of accomplishment that have.”

Klucker said the type of CPR they are focused on is Hands Only CPR, which teaches the proper technique for chest compressions, ensuring the correct rate of compressions and has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR.

“We want to get the heart pumping again that’s why we do the chest compressions only. There’s about 10 minutes worth of oxygen in your blood after your heart stops beating, so the quicker we can start doing hands only CPR the greater the chances are of survive ability,” Klucker said.

Getting to teach this form of CPR removes a major hang up for many people having to give breaths.

“It gets more people to do it, since they are apprehensive about putting their mouth on somebody else’s mouth that they don’t know. So, with the hands only more people will be comfortable in doing CPR,” Klucker said.

The new mannequins are proving to be particularly valuable because of the feedback device present. Before, Klucker said it was hard to get good feedback and now people can really get a good handle on the difference of good and bad CPR.

“I applaud Firefighter Klucker for taking the health of our community so seriously and leading the charge to get as many people trained in Bystander CPR as possible. Our hope is that various groups in the City of Collinsville along with the Collinsville Township will also want us to teach this program to their members. The more we teach, the higher the chances are of survival during a sudden cardiac event,” Fire Chief John Bailot said.

The department offers traditional CPR classes on the first Wednesday of the month at Station One, 130 South Clinton Street from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and are willing to set up group classes for this Bystander CPR program as well. For more information about setting up a bystander CPR class for your group, or to register for one of the traditional CPR classes at the fire station, contact the Fire Chief’s Executive Administrative Assistant – Tracy Carlson at 618-346-5022 ext. 3141 or by email at [email protected]

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