I would like to bring the importance of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated Eternal Defibrillators (AEDs), training to the general public.

While there is much media attention about AEDs, they may not be readily available in every situation. Therefore, CPR may need to be performed until medical attention can be administered by emergency first Responders.

I have maintained CPR certification since I was 16. While I never had to use it in 40 years, there was a need this past December when an individual collapsed. Two of us performed CPR until the Hoffman Estates Fire Department arrived and took over. After continuing CPR and administering drug therapy and defibrillation, they were able to get a pulse, the individual was breathing on his own, and transported.

I can't tell you what that feels like. I prayed that whatever lifesaving measure performed that day would bring another day with loved ones where perhaps, it would not have been if CPR was not started within minutes. Timing is everything when a heart stops.

I didn't think twice about performing it or wondering if I would remember what to do in an emergency. I just saw a person in need and did what I was trained to do. Now with AEDs in more public locations, I tell people as much as I can to get certified in CPR, AED, first aid etc. because you never know when you may be the one to help someone in need.

While not every individual who receives CPR or AED intervention has a positive outcome, it can make a difference even if it's hours, days, weeks, or a lifetime. Almost every village offers this training, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of it.

Be the person to make a difference for another individual if the need arises.

Bette Wilmot

Hoffman Estates