Greenport students received CPR training and a chance to practice hands-on during their gym classes last week, thanks to Southold Fire Department.
More than 350 students in grades seven though 12 participated in the CPR training, which took place during the students’ physical education classes at Greenport Junior-Senior High School.
“It’s important to learn so that precious time isn’t wasted when someone goes into cardiac arrest,” said Chris Manfredi, captain of the Southold Fire Department rescue squad and one of the CPR instructors during last week’s classes.
Manfredi and fellow Southold firefighter Roland Grant taught the students how to perform compression resuscitation, which can help keep oxygenated blood flowing to the body’s vital organs in the event of a heart attack.
The students practiced doing chest compressions on CPR training manikins. Because the state mandate for CPR training in schools only requires hands-on resuscitation, the classes did not cover rescue breathing.
“To get people more involved, they’re encouraging people to just do the compression portion,” Manfredi explained. “The research shows that a lot of people are afraid to do CPR because they’re afraid they’re going to do it wrong. This way, we’re breaking it down to the simplest part, the compressions.”
That’s because some CPR is better than none at all, Manfredi said.
“As fast as we’d like to think we’re getting there, there’s still a time lapse between when someone goes into cardiac arrest and when help arrives,” he said. “As an EMS provider, when we get there and there’s bystander CPR being done, I have a better feeling that that person has a better chance of survival than if someone is just standing there waiting for us to get there.”
Southold Fire Department established an American Heart Association Training Center at its department in January 2014. The training center was meant to help local schools meet a state mandate that went into effect last year, which requires that students get trained in hands-on resuscitation.
Southold Fire Department’s training center provides instructors and CPR training to other fire departments, emergency medical service providers and lifeguards on the East End. In addition to Greenport schools, Southold Junior-Senior High School will also receive CPR training sessions by the end of the year as well.
Photos courtesy of Southold Fire Department