If someone nearby went into sudden cardiac arrest, what would you do? Wake County Emergency Medical Services wants you to know that you’re not helpless – in fact, you can provide vital support that could help save a life.
As part of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, Wake County EMS is offering two free, hands-only CPR classes on Saturday, Oct. 29. The courses will take place from 10 a.m.–noon and 1–3 p.m. at the Emergency Services Education Center, 221 S. Rogers Lane, Raleigh. In addition to CPR, participants will learn how to correctly use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, a medical device that can help restore a normal heartbeat in certain situations.
“This is a great opportunity to gain truly lifesaving skills from our expert EMS staff,” said Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria. “Hands-only CPR not only increases the likelihood that someone will survive cardiac arrest, but it’s easy to learn and remember.”
More than 350,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest in non-hospital settings each year, according to the American Heart Association. For every minute without CPR, survivability decreases by 10%. Getting bystander CPR and an AED on scene before emergency responders arrive can dramatically increase the victim’s chances of survival.
While the Oct. 29 classes will not provide certification in CPR, it’s important to understand that you don’t need to be certified to provide CPR or use an AED. The only requirement is your willingness to help.
Wake County EMS also encourages residents to download PulsePoint, a free app that will alert you if someone nearby needs CPR. PulsePoint pulls real-time information from the county’s 911 dispatch system, so while EMS is on the way to the scene, you can provide critical, lifesaving chest compressions.
A separate app, PulsePoint AED, shows where the nearest AED is located. Local businesses can register their AEDs on the app, so when a person calls 911, the dispatcher can tell them exactly where the closest device is located.
“Both of these apps will save valuable time in the event of an emergency,” said Brian Brooks, Wake County EMS assistant chief. “A few minutes of chest compressions can have a big impact on the patient’s outcome.”
Wake County EMS is a national leader of cardiac arrest resuscitation. In 2021, our paramedics and EMTs successfully resuscitated 113 people who experienced sudden cardiac arrest.
Visit wakegov.com/ems to register for the classes.