Decatur Fire & Rescue teaches CPR to students

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — On Thursday, Decatur Fire & Rescue put its new Lend-A-Hand CPR program into action. Firefighters and EMTs led a hands-on training for 7th-12th grade students at Decatur Heritage Christian Academy.

The Lend-A-Hand program focuses on teaching hands-only CPR. That style doesn’t require mouth to mouth and focuses on compressions.

“A lot of times people say they don’t do CPR because they don’t know how to do it,” said Deputy Fire Marshall, Lieutenant Brandon Sivley. “So now, we’ve equipped these kids with that tool that they can use from this point forward,” he continued.

News 19 watched as Lieutenant Sivley demonstrated the technique to one student.

He said the first step is to call 911. After that, he said, “Find the center of the chest, interlock your fingers, lock our elbows, and we’re going to compress a depth of two inches, and you’ll hear a click.” He then watched the student compress to the proper depth. He continued, “We’re wanting to do that between 100 and 120 times in a minute.”

Part of the training involved showing students a video of a scenario where a student had gone into cardiac arrest, while other students walked by unaware. Lt. Sivley said that is to highlight how important it is for students to pay attention to their surroundings.

He said by teaching students the hands-only technique, they can be better prepared if they find themselves in that scenario.

During the training, several stations were set up around the cafeteria, giving more than 170 students the chance to go through the motions on the CPR mannequins.

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