The FDNY and NYC Service announced a big milestone on Aug. 16: more than 12,000 New Yorkers were trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) this year.
To be more specific, 12,346 people were directly educated by members of the FDNY's CPR Training Unit between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. They held 689 free classes in all five boroughs, with the students pledging to themselves train an additional 42,073 of their friends and family members. This far exceeded the goal set by the City last year.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition that strikes more than 250,000 Americans each year, the vast majority of whom do not survive. The time lapse between victim collapse and the start of CPR can mean life or death. Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims rely on three critical steps: calling 911, immediately starting CPR and defibrillation to restart the heart.
"It's so simple, you can learn CPR in five to ten minutes," said EMT Pablo Vazquez, who taught a group of volunteers this life-saving skill on Aug. 16 at the Hunts Point Library in the Bronx. "This program has been a success because New Yorkers want to help others in their time of need."
"This program is all about volunteers wanting to help," saidNew York City's Chief Service Officer, Diahann Billings-Burford. "We're making it easy."