Considering that it can literally make the difference between life and death, the skills for applying Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) are so easy to learn that everyone should try to acquire them.
On Thursday May 12 at Northern Lakes College (NLC) Smoky River Campus in McLennan, 12 people participated in a session led by Jim Meldrum, NLC Health and Safety Officer. Meldrum, based in Slave Lake has also been a volunteer firefighter for almost thirty years.
The current CPR and AED program, which Meldrum is presenting at all of NLCs 25 campuses, is a grant funded program award through the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“I applied for this grant about two years ago,” says Meldrum. “A condition of the grant is that we provide training with all the AEDs to ensure that the college community understands how to use an AED and to do CPR as well.”
While the present program is a one-off arrangement, NLC is planning a continuing program for which it is presently working out the details.
“We are looking at the best way we can get word out to our students and staff. We are going to do a large-scale staff training as well,” says Meldrum. “We have almost 300 employees and at the next staff meeting we are going to have a mass CPR/AED session.”
At the May 12 session, the 12 participants, ranging in age from teenagers up, went through the exercises using the Heart and Stroke Foundation CPR and AED learning kits. The kits and Meldrum’s instruction really simplified the process while at the same time emphasizing the value of these vital skills.
A perfect illustration of the value of these skills was the video testimony of a teenage girl who saved the life of a person at a bus stop who went into cardiac arrest. Out of 30 people at the scene, the girl was the youngest and the only one equipped to come to the sick person’s aid, saving that person’s life due to having participated in a brief CPR learning session.
When Northern Lakes College gives a CPR/AED training, the sessions are open to members of the college community, student family members and people who live in the area.
“The more people you reach with this the better it is,” says Meldrum. “That meets with our philosophy as well as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, so it is an easy fit.”