BCEMS offers free CPR training today

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SANDPOINT — While you wait in line for today’s Grand Finale concert, you could be learning how to save someone’s life.

For the second Sunday, BCEMS crews will be offering brief CPR training to those waiting in line to attend the concert. As part of an effort to increase the number of people training in CPR, crews will ask three to four people at a time to take 10 minutes while waiting in line to learn about the life-saving techniques, using American Heart Association guidelines.

This is the first year BCEMS has done a community-based CPR program as they make a “major push” toward improving the number of people in Bonner County who are CPR trained, Dr. Ronald Jenkins, medical director for Bonner County EMS, said.

The goal is to get the county set up on PulsePoint, a smartphone app that matches people trained in CPR and the use of AEDs — automated external defibrillators — to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The PulsePoint dispatch center immediately alerts CPR-trained individuals about nearby cardiac arrest events, and also lets them know the location of the closest AEDs.

The BCEMS crew will set up at the Festival about two hours before the gates open. They will have CPR manikins that light up to indicate when the technique is being done correctly. Jenkins said they will likely have child and baby manikins, in addition to the adult one, to demonstrate the difference in techniques. The sessions will last about 10 minutes, then each person will get a sticker and their place back in line.

Jenkins said they hope to train around 100 people at the Festival, and also aim to continue the community-based training efforts with more programs in the near future.

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