By Adam Quandt
That is what police departments and other emergency responders are looking to instill upon community members around the state through Heart Safe training.
The Orono Police Department will be holding a class on April 11 to teach community members how to perform CPR and how to use Automated External Defibrillators (AED). The Orono PD will be assisted during the training by members of the Long Lake Fire Department, the Mound Fire Department and Minnetrista PD.
The hour-long class will focus on four main training components; immediate recognition of cardiac arrest, activation of the emergency response system, compression only CPR and rapid defibrillation using an AED.
“The whole goal is to increase awareness on sudden cardiac arrest and how to be prepared for it,” Orono Deputy Police Chief Chris Fischer said.
Orono started partaking in the Laker Area Heart Safe Initiative project a couple of years ago and hopes to train half of the community’s population in order to earn the title of a Heart Safe Community.
Fischer said that they have currently trained between 2300-3000 people and are aiming for another 7000 people trained.
The training includes a lot of hands on learning using CPR dummies and the use of inactive AEDs. However, during larger group trainings, Fischer said they often have survivors of sudden cardiac arrest come in and tell their stories.
“It just serves as a power teaching moment,” Fischer said. “It’s one thing to have me stand up there and tell people’s stories, but to hear it from their mouths, that’s what really makes an impact.”
In another effort to be prepared for sudden cardiac arrest, Fischer works with non-profits interested in having an AED installed to get them paired with donations in order to pay for the machine and its installment.
“If there’s a non-profit interested, all they need to do is contact me and I’ll do what I can to find them a donor,” Fischer said.
The next training will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 11 at the Orono Police Department. The class will be offered free of charge, but Fischer asked that those wishing to participate R.S.V.P by contacting him via telephone at 952-249-4772 or by email at [email protected]