The Hatteras Island Rescue Squad (HIRS) will be offering a public CPR class on Tuesday, January 24, at 6:00 p.m. at its station in Buxton. The one-night, three-hour class will cover adult, child, and infant CPR and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and the class is part of a long-term effort to train as many islanders as possible on how to perform CPR in an emergency.
“In a lot of places, you pick the phone and call 911, and someone is there in two, three, or four minutes,” said Bill Laricos of HIRS. “We have an excellent EMS system here and a great Rescue Squad, but there’s a gap in [response time], just because of our geography.”
“If someone has a cardiac arrest, there is a six-minute window to do CPR to give them a chance of survival, so If someone close to you doesn’t start CPR, your chances of survival are drastically cut,” he added. “So the more people we can teach down here, the better.”
The cost of the class is $12 per student, which covers the $7 cost of the American Heart Association (AHA) certification card and a $5 pocket mask, which participants will be able to keep at the end of the session. Attendance and completion of the class is $5 if participants do not need an AHA certification card, and payment must be in cash and in exact change on the night of the class.
Pre-registration is required, and islanders can call the station at 252-995-5490 and leave their name, a contact telephone number, and the number of students wishing to attend. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis in the event of vacancies or cancellations.
The class size is 18 maximum, but Laricos says that if there is a larger response, more classes will be scheduled.
“We’re trying to hold one class a month for the public, depending on demand,” he said. “We can also provide classes to groups, like the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative which we do every two years, or to surf clubs, non-profit organizations, businesses – if there is any organization that wants a class, we will set one up.”
The class is solely open to island residents and property owners, simply because an increased number of residents who know CPR equals an increase in survival across the board after a cardiac arrest event.
“We count on the members of the public to at least do compressions in that first six-minute window. Good compressions buy time, and will double, triple, or quadruple a person’s chance of survival,” said Laricos.
“It’s a great program, we enjoy doing it, and we offer it to the public as close enough to free as we can,” he added. “Survival often depends on the knowledge of the people down here, so we want to train as many people as possible.”
For more information:
Visit the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad’s Facebook page for more info, or contact the HIRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-995-5490 for more information about upcoming CPR classes.