Special to the Tribune-Star
The American Heart Association and a nationwide coalition of mayors have announced a new program to arm thousands of people with lifesaving skills in Hands-Only CPR.
Five U.S. cities will each be awarded up to 1,000 CPR Anytime kits. The program supports the implementation of the Cities of Service Volunteer CPR Blueprint.
Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing pressing city needs through impact volunteering. Volunteer CPR is a high-impact service strategy in which mayors’ offices, through partnerships with local medical professionals or emergency responders, train volunteers to use the lifesaving Hands-Only CPR technique.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby.
Sadly, 89 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.
The American Heart Association believes that Hands-Only CPR can change that devastating statistic by teaching Americans just two easy steps to save a life: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic Bee Gees disco song “Stayin’ Alive.” Performing Hands-Only CPR at this beat can more than double or triple a person’s chances of survival.
“The more people who are trained in CPR, the more lifesavers we have in communities who can act as first responders when citizens go into cardiac arrest,” said Donna Arnett, American Heart Association president. “We are confident that the distribution of these 5,000 training kits will help us reach our goal to double bystander CPR response and survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.”
The Volunteer CPR Blueprint calls for volunteers trained by professionals to teach CPR to at least five other residents — vastly improving a community’s ability to respond to sudden cardiac emergencies.
The approach is showing promise. More than 119,000 New Yorkers have been trained in CPR to help improve the city’s cardiac arrest survival rates. In Houston, more than 13,000 residents have been trained.
To apply for the grant, cities must be members of the Cities of Service coalition and submit an online proposal that meets the objectives of the Volunteer CPR Blueprint.
Grants are available for cities located in the following 14 states, plus two markets in Texas (Austin and Houston): Indiana, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The deadline to submit grant applications is Sept. 17. The five selected cities will be notified in October.
The training kit grant program is part of the American Heart Association’s national Hands-Only CPR campaign. Supported by a three-year, $4.5 million grant from the WellPoint Foundation, the campaign uses public service announcements, social media and a multi-state mobile training tour to teach the Hands-Only CPR method and contribute to the American Heart Association’s goal to double survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.
Cities interested in the grant program that are not members of Cities of Service can visit citiesofservice.org to learn how to encourage their mayor to join.