Chelsea Fire and Rescue holds CPR Saturdays

Chelsea Fire and Rescue recently released their 2017 schedule for CPR Saturdays. During CPR Saturdays, residents from Chelsea and the surrounding areas have the opportunity to learn how to properly perform CPR and receive their CPR certification.

“We do it as a community outreach. We’re trying to help get information out about what CPR actually is,” fire medic and CPR Saturdays Instructor Taylor Gunnels said. “CPR saves lives. The more people you have that are CPR trained, the more of an impact you can have.”

Classes take place on one Saturday out of each month, and begin at 9:30 a.m. They last about four hours. While there is no age limit on who can attend the CPR Saturdays, Gunnels said the classes are best for people who are around 12 years or older.

During CPR Saturdays, participants learn how to properly perform CPR, how to use a defibrillator and about basic first aid. According to Gunnels, everything taught during these classes is in accordance with curriculum set by the American Heart Association. The class also serves to debunk misleading beliefs about CPR that could lead to its improper use.

Gunnels said many people believe that checking a pulse is necessary before performing CPR on another person. However, a person’s pulse is not the only indicator of whether someone needs CPR.

“If they’re not breathing normally and are unresponsive, go ahead and start CPR,” Gunnels said. “It’s better to give CPR to someone who doesn’t need it, than to withhold it from someone who actually does.”

Gunnels said that many people are also reluctant to perform CPR out of the fear that they might do something wrong, accidentally hurt someone and make the situation worse.

“The chances of you hurting somebody [while performing CPR] are slim to none,” Gunnels said.

Gunnels also said the risks of catching a disease from the mouth-to-mouth breathing technique are low. However, Chelsea Fire and Rescue also teaches Hands-Only CPR.

“A lot of people are scared to give CPR because they are scared that they might catch something. Hands-Only CPR was pushed to lessen that worry, and more people opted to do CPR,” Gunnels said.

While other fire departments in the area offer CPR certification classes, Gunnels said Chelsea Fire and Rescue is one of the few that holds them on a regular basis.

“We’ve been doing CPR Saturdays regularly for about five years or so,” Gunnels said. “On average, we get about 75 to 80 people trained or re-certified per year.”

According to Gunnels, certifications from CPR Saturdays last for two years, and need to be updated to meet the American Heart Association’s current standards.

In 2017, CPR classes will be held on the following Saturdays:

  • Jan. 7
  • Feb. 4
  • Mar. 11
  • Apr. 15
  • May 13
  • Jun. 10
  • Jul. 15
  • Aug. 12
  • Sept. 16
  • Oct. 21
  • Nov. 18
  • Dec. 2