Firefighters and educators have joined forces with the American Heart Association (AHA) to teach teenagers how to save lives in Los Angeles. With funding support from Union Bank, the first mass training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation took place Nov. 3 at King Drew Medical Magnet High School. Another is planned next spring.
Some 100 teens learned how to recognize an emergency and save a life during the free Hands-Only CPR training, conducted jointly by the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD), the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the AHA. Students received free CPR Anytime® kits, which they took home with a challenge to train 10 family members and friends.
Franklin Pratt, M.D., Medical Director of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and incoming board president of our Greater Los Angeles division, led firefighters from Station 41 in demonstrating proper administration of Hands-Only CPR and the correct use of automatic external defibrillators (AED). He is pictured demonstrating an AED.
Dr. Pratt explains: “CPR Anytime is a powerful program that addresses all of the barriers responsible for the lack of life-saving CPR training in the student community. Our innovative, all-inclusive kit addresses community needs and saves lives. I am honored to be part of this program and hope to encourage the entire board to join this incredible movement – a movement to empower youth to use their hands to save a life.”
The LACFD’s commitment to teen CPR training is so strong that Engine 41 and its crew were assigned specifically to the school that day, covered by a “move up” engine from another fire station to respond to emergencies. Typically, local firefighters participating in community events of this type are on-call and often need to leave abruptly when emergencies occur.
Union Bank Vice President and Operations Initiatives Analyst Dawn Helwig attended the event and spoke to the students. “At Union Bank, we are committed to supporting total wellness in our local communities,” she said. “We’re honored to work with the American Heart Association to provide the CPR Anytime for Family and Friends Personal Learning Program to the students at King Drew Magnet Medical High School and to help encourage students and their families to learn CPR.”