Chester County Officials ‘Stay Alive’ with CPR Demonstration in Honor of American Heart Month

CPR Demonstration(Left to right) Chester County Commissioners Eric Roe, Chair Josh Maxwell and Marian Moskowitz demonstrate Hands-Only CPR under the instruction of Chester County EMS Operations Coordinator Larry Smythe (right) at the Commissioners' February 14th Public Meeting. At the Valentine's Day meeting, the Commissioners Proclaimed February as American Heart Month. /Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — This Valentine’s Day, Chester County Commissioners took a public stand on heart health, literally. In a unique demonstration during Wednesday’s public meeting, Commissioners Josh Maxwell, Marian Moskowitz, and Eric Roe marked American Heart Month by practicing Hands-Only CPR on adult-sized manikins.

Guided by members of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services, and buoyed by the rhythm of the Bee Gee’s 1977 classic “Stayin’ Alive,” the commissioners highlighted the importance of knowing this potentially life-saving technique. The song serves as an auditory guide for CPR training, as its tempo matches the ideal rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute.

Hands-Only CPR, as outlined by the American Red Cross, involves two critical steps when someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest. First, call 9-1-1. Then, perform chest compressions at the proper rate until professional help arrives.

The importance of these steps cannot be overstated. Each year, more than 350,000 EMS-assisted out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Survival often hinges on immediate CPR from a bystander.

“Thanks to many EMS agencies and non-profits throughout the county, there are opportunities year-round for residents of all ages to learn Hands-Only CPR,” said Harry Moore, Chester County Deputy Director for EMS. “The more people we train, the greater the possibility of saving the life of someone who has gone into cardiac arrest.”

Given that over 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, learning Hands-Only CPR could mean saving the life of a loved one. Several EMS agencies in Chester County, including Good Fellowship Ambulance & EMS Training Institute, Uwchlan Ambulance Corps & Training Institute, and the Emergency Training Academy, offer Hands-Only CPR training.

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As American Heart Month continues, Chester County residents are encouraged to take this opportunity to learn a skill that could, quite literally, keep a heart beating. After all, as the Bee Gee’s song suggests, we should all be focused on “Stayin’ Alive.”

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