With World Heart Day right around the corner, the Orange County fire department is gearing up for the big event.
This year, officials hope to break the record of the number of high school students who will be participating in the worldwide awareness day. For Evans High School freshman Henry Calixte, it’s the first time he’s being set up to perform a life-saving exercise.
“If that was my, like, mom or my dad, I would want somebody to do that for me,” Calixte said.
As part of World Heart Day, every high school in Orange County will participate in the global initiative.
“If something happens, like, on campus, most of the kids will be able to handle a situation until proper help comes,” Calixte said.
Inez Pressler, assistant fire marshal for Orange County fire rescue, said the training could potentially save lives.
“The purpose of it is to teach everybody CPR,” Pressler said.
The World Heart Federation created the campaign in 2012 to help reduce deaths around the world that are caused by the No. 1 killer: cardiovascular disease. Each year, about 17.5 million people die worldwide from this cause, including strokes and heart disease.
High school students will also learn how their smartphones can be used as a tool if they ever have to assist in an emergency.
Pressler said the Pulse Point app can connect users through to 911 dispatch centers in every county.
“It also will let you know where the AED’s (automated external defibrillators) are, how to do CPR, how to use an AED,” Pressler said.
Evan Nast, a fire inspector with the fire marshals office, was available to teach students the proper way to perform CPR.
“The first thing you want to do is you wanna tap and shout. You wanna try to wake ’em up,” Nast said.
He demonstrated the method on a medical dummy.
“Are you OK? Do you need help? And then you want to immediately start CPR. We usually recommend 100 to 120 beats per minute,” Nast said.
After placing the palm of your hand in the center of the chest, he suggests you think about a famous “Saturday Night Fever” song “Stayin’ Alive.”
“That’s the beat you need to follow. So every time you hear that, you want to make sure you’re on the down,” Nast said.
The Pulse Point app will also make it easier to know the exact rate at which each compression should be.
For information on where you can take CPR classes, visit www.ocfrd.com.