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CPR Saved the Life of Someone I Knew

CPR Saved the Life of Someone I Knew

For me, CPR was always something that was a “check the box” skill until it saved the life of someone I knew.

As a full-time police academy instructor, CPR Instruction fell into my area of responsibility. I would train up to 60 students each session in CPR, AED, and First Aid. I’ll admit that it always seemed like busy work, and I would even comment to the cadets about how we needed to get through the class so that we could get back to learning something important.

The day after teaching CPR to one of my recruit classes, I was leading a PT session at a local park. Our recruits met at 0630 every morning to work on strength and conditioning. After PT, they’d drive to the academy to shower and get ready for their course work. While driving to the academy, a cadet suffered a heart attack while driving alone in his personal vehicle. The recruit was on the heavy side and not in the best of health. His heart attack struck while he was traveling at 45 mph or more, and his vehicle left the roadway and struck a brick home. That incident and the conditions surrounding it would have been the end of his life if three other recruits following him to the academy hadn’t observed the crash and stopped to help.

Upon reaching the vehicle, the three cadets quickly identified that their classmate wasn’t breathing. They dragged him from the vehicle and two of them immediately began CPR on the wet grass of the roadside. The remaining cadet dialed 911 and gave the dispatcher the required information to route help to them. The wait time to start CPR was less than a minute, and they kept it up for almost 10 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

Their actions saved their friend’s life. Quality CPR administered quickly kept their friend’s heart beating and his brain alive. He had a lengthy stay in the hospital, but eventually returned to work. The paramedics and doctors who treated him said that if not for the intervention of his classmates, he would have certainly died on the scene of the accident.

That incident had a profound impact on my mindset when it came to teaching CPR. All of us need to be our first responders. Our family, friends, and community don’t have 10 minutes to wait on an ambulance to arrive. In a matter of hours, you can learn the required skills to save the life of a stranger or someone already important to you. I have used my medical training in my personal and professional life much more than I was ever required to use my firearm. Also, since that first incident, former students have told me that they’ve successfully administered CPR to children, parents, and co-workers.

Come learn the skills you need to be the difference in someone’s life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to be that difference.

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