Can You Save A Life – Part 2 

Wayne Harvey

In nine hours of classes, you can become certified for Adult, Child, and Infant CPR. It only takes a couple of hours to become trained in the new hands only CPR.It’s a proven life saving technique, yet very few people take the time to learn it. Many people know Jamie Russell from his career as a high school coach and official. In 2009, he was named a Red Cross Real Heroes Award Winner. He was in the right place at the right time. “I was in the post office lobby and someone came in and said someone had fallen out in the parking lot and was bleeding and they should call an ambulance and that they needed help. I went out and saw a gentleman laying facedown and a large pool of blood under his head. I was going to officiate a soccer game and I had a bag with me and I got some socks out of my gym bag and I applied pressure to his cut. He had a nasty cut on his forehead and at that point, within a minute or so, he just passed away, he was done, just stopped breathing and was out and I was able to turn him over and immediately started compressions.”Russell, who’s trained in CPR, still questioned himself and what he was doing. “It seemed like it took forever, you know. You see it on TV and someone snaps to just like that and that wasn’t the case, and I remember thinking you got to be kidding me. This is going on way too long and then after a minute or so, it looked like his lips had moved and a breath and I thought, wait a second, and I stopped and it was the same thing. It was cold turkey, he was out, and I started again and real quick after that, we started to get some breaths and it’s not quick and it’s not pretty but it’s certainly very gratifying.”The ambulance crew arrived and took the man to the hospital. But he wouldn’t have been alive without Jamie’s quick response.”I can’t give you any concrete statistics,” says Jeff Brown of the Bangor Fire Department. “But I can take an educated guess and say that maybe 20 percent of the cardiac arrest calls in which we respond, people are actually doing CPR, so it’s very frustrating.” “If somebody is indeed not breathing, blue, no signs of life, I want to see somebody doing compressions, I want to see somebody doing continuous compressions on that heart, without interruption, middle of the chest at least two inches, that’s what we want to see. Yes, it’s tiring,” said Brown. “Yes it’s physically, stressing, and anybody can do it.”Those we spoke to say anyone is capable of saving a life.”Absolutely,” said Brown. “And it doesn’t matter if it’s a teenager or an adult or an elderly person, absolutely anybody can do CPR. It’s very simple.””I actually did CPR on my dad back in 1988, who died of a heart attack,” said Russell. “My brother and I performed CPR and again, that was forever because the ambulance was coming from out of town and he didn’t make it, and you’re right, stats will show you that most people don’t make it, but if you can save that 14-15 percent I think it’s worth the try.””Everybody should know how to do CPR and intervention,” said Pat Walsh of the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross. “For someone who is choking, as folks wandering the universe and wandering the planet, the more safety skills and knowledge you have, the better off the public is going to be.”For someone who’s done it, Russell puts it in perspective. “It’s a very humbling experience because you know that someone could have possibly passed away and you were able to help them.”If you are in a situation where you have to do CPR, the American Heart Association says the most effective rate for chest compressions is greater than 100 compressions per minute, the same rhythm as the beat of the BeeGee’s song, “Stayin’ Alive.”