American Red Cross pushes lifesaving knowledge during CPR and AED Awareness Week

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Posted at 7:11 AM, Jun 02, 2021

You never know when you'll be called on to help save someone's life.

National CPR and AED Awareness Week, which runs from June 1-7, is all about making sure as many people as possible have access to potentially life-saving knowledge.

"This is probably not top of mind for everybody in the community but we all see each and every day in the area that there, unfortunately, are situations that call for somebody to be able to use those skills," said Jonathan McNamara of American Red Cross Virginia. "We want to make sure that as many people as possible have that training so, if they need it, they can respond effectively."

In a situation, where someone goes into cardiac arrest, meaning their heart stops, the Red Cross suggests calling 911 immediately. From there is where public knowledge of CPR and AED usage can make a world of difference.

McNamara tells News 3 that average emergency response times are 8-12 minutes. The problem is for every minute CPR is not done on someone suffering an arrest, their chances of survival drop ten percent.

The American Red Cross offers frequent certification classes for CPR. More localized organizations, like the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, offer classes too.

"I talk to first responders on a daily basis who use lifesaving skills as a part of their job and even they are surprised by some of the scenarios they run upon and what we've heard from each and every one of them is that the more you practice, the more you are learning about these situations, the better prepared you're gonna be," said McNamara.

But there are also quicker options to ensure the average person has the knowledge needed to respond to a person suffering from cardiac arrest or another emergency.

The American Red Cross First Aid app is free and offers step-by-step instructions on how to do CPR as well as respond to any number of medical emergencies.

"(It) can actually allow you to call 911 right through the app. We actually have videos in that app that can also walk you through those steps and those videos are directly into the app so you don't even need to be connected to the internet," said McNamara.

Click HERE for more information about National CPR and AED Awareness Week.