Local EMS look to arm residents with life saving information

SODOM - Johnsburg Emergency Squad Captain Corey Ouellette stood over a foam and rubber anthropomorph May 16 and pressed down on a black circle meant to represent the chest.

"Air goes in and out and blood goes round and round," he said. "Any deviation from that is bad."

In a push to increase public awareness emergency squads throughout Warren Washington and Essex counties hosted Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Day Saturday.

"Brain damage can occur in as little as six to eight minutes," Ouellette said. "A lay-person intervening with someone in distress greatly increases our chances of stabilizing them when we arrive."

EMS officials said that basic CPR knowledge by the general public can save lives and help communities.

The 30 minute CPR class did not provide certifications, instead sticking to the basics.

Ouellette said that a lay-person attempting CPR on an individual in need is better than not doing anything at all.

"In these rural areas, we can often take 10 to 15 minutes to arrive on seen," Ouellette said. "At that point it may be to late."

Ouellette said that good samaritan laws protect people from liability claims if someone was to die during lay CPR.

"That feeling of helplessness in an emergency where someone is neither breathing nor showing a heart rate can be eased if folks know some basic stuff," Minerva EMS Captain Mike Corey said. "It's not that complicated, and it really can save peoples' lives.

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