The Elmore County Emergency Management Agency is partnering with Haynes Ambulance to make CPR and AED training accessible to the community.
EMA program coordinator Julie Lawrence said classes are held quarterly and open to the public. A class is set for Jan. 29, but it is already at capacity. Classes are already scheduled for April 30, July 30 and Oct. 29.
The classes are regularly attended by school system employees, nurses, EMT and other first responders to maintain their certifications, but Lawrence said the goal is to provide CPR education to the community at large.
“We want to turn citizens into lifesavers instead of bystanders,” Lawrence said. “If someone ever found themselves in that situation, we want them to feel confident and educated enough to administer CPR until help arrived.”
The training sessions are accompanied by automated external defibrillator (AED) training. An AED is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It's a medical device that can analyze the heart's rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm, according to the American Red Cross. All Elmore County government buildings now have AEDs, Lawrence said.
“This is important life-saving training,” Lawrence said. “You don’t have to be a first responder. We want as many people trained in the community as possible because it greatly increases the chances of survival in a situation where someone is in cardiac arrest.”
Haynes’ interim educational director Patti Brown will be the instructor for the classes.
“Patti is wonderful,” Lawrence said. “We get great feedback from people after her classes. She has a lot of real-world experience and stories to help people imagine themselves in certain situations.”
By the end of the class, participants receive CPR and AED certifications through the American Heart Association. The classes last up to 4 hours and are held at the Elmore County Emergency Operations Center, located at 8917 U.S. 231. The cost is $8 and covers the cost of the CPR certification cards.
Elmore County EMA is making every effort to provide a safe training environment for the students who will be participating in the class. Masks are required to be worn and can be provided by EMA. Sanitizer will be available and gloves will be required because the class involves hands-on training using a mannequin.
Information about how to sign up for the class will be announced on Facebook about a month before the class.
For questions or additional information, contact the EMA office at (334) 567-6451 or Ecema@elmoreco.org.