Lombard offers free training in lifesaving techniques
Training on how to perform CPR and how to use an automatic external defibrillator is no longer only for lifeguards and health professionals, say the organizers of a free training program planned for Saturday, Oct. 1, in Lombard.
"I think this training is more accessible to the everyday people who do not need a health care certification CPR class," said Lt. Paul DiRienzo, emergency medical services officer of the Lombard Fire Department. "This is for anyone that just wants to be able to know what to do in an emergency."
The village of Lombard and the DuPage County Health Department will offer free 45-minute training sessions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Church of Lombard, 220 S. Main St., and village hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave. Organizers request participants register beforehand at dupagehealth.org/sthevents.
Participants will be guided through three stations of training. The first will remind them of the importance of calling 911 in an emergency and explain how to start hands-only CPR at 100 beats a minute, said John Miller, volunteer development specialist at the DuPage County Health Department.
The second station will focus on how to use an automatic external defibrillator, a heart-starting device found inside many public buildings.
"We want people to feel comfortable actually taking it off the wall and using it," Miller said.
AEDs are relatively simple to use and instructions are visible on the device, DiRienzo said. But practicing without pressure should help people who don't have medical training feel confident enough to use the device if someone goes into cardiac arrest.
"If you've at least had your hands on it, you're more likely to respond in an appropriate manner," DiRienzo said.
The training is being offered through Start the Heart, a DuPage County Health Department program that began last fall in Lombard. Miller said seven or eight other communities are considering joining the program, which aims to increase the number of people who are trained to help when someone's heart stops.
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