The Havelock Fire and Rescue Department is out to spread the word that anyone can perform CPR, and in some cases, that knowledge may save a life.


The Havelock Fire and Rescue Department is out to spread the word that anyone can perform CPR, and in some cases, that knowledge may save a life.



The department is visiting Havelock businesses and handing out kits to help educate workers on how to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation in the event a customer is beset by a cardiac crisis.



Assistant Chief Steve Coffey said the department received a $5,000 grant from the American Heart Association to begin a process of installing automatic electronic defibrillators in area businesses.



On Friday, Coffey and other department members visited First Citizen’s Bank in Havelock to teach the proper CPR technique. Bank employees practiced compressions on a modern version of the classic Resuci Anne. Such visits have been made at other area businesses, too.



Coffey said the department plans to do a drawing soon in which the winning business will receive a new automatic defibrillator, with more formal certification on how to use the life-saving, heart-starting device.



Coffey said that sometimes witnesses are too timid to step forward to help a victim having a heart attack.



“A lot of them are concerned about liability,” Coffey said. “There is no liability. It’s called being a Good Samaritan.”



Ryan Graham, the firefighter/paramedic who led Friday’s demonstration, said people who step forward to conduct CPR are no longer expected to do mouth-to-mouth respiration.



“Most of the people we run into are scared to do this,” Graham said.



Properly executed chest compressions are sufficient to circulate oxygenated blood in the patient until help arrives, he said.



Graham said citizen first responders need to remember the five “Cs” of saving a life — check, call, compression, continue and connect.



Check to see if the victim is responding or if breathing is normal, and call 911 to get medical help.



Begin compression-only CPR, pushing the victim’s chest two inches down for at least 100 compressions per minute. Coffey said to think of the rhythm of the Bee Gees songt “Stayin’ Alive” as a means of doing the proper rate of compressions.



Continue compressions even if you feel you are injuring the victim. You are not.



Connect by opening an AED and following the directions.



The department dropped off three educational CPR kits that included a dummy for practice and a CD.



“We want you to take them home with you and show your families,” Coffey said. “Most cardiac arrests occur in the home.”



Each class lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. To request a class, call the Havelock Fire Department at 444-6443.