BRIGHTON — When a Highland business was looking for an interesting team-building exercise recently, a chance to take CPR classes fit the bill — and offered a way for team members to potentially save a life as well.
Members of the Grass Roots Marketing Team from LaFontaine Automotive Group took part in a class taught by CPR instructor Sgt. Ian Griffith of the Brighton Area Fire Authority this week.
According to Grass Roots marketing manager Karla Griscom, she and company Vice President Kelley LaFontaine were looking for opportunities to bond for their team of 10 women, whom LaFontaine calls her angels.
“One day, maybe one of us will save someone’s life,” LaFontaine said.
In addition to all of the employees becoming trained in CPR, Griscom added, two members of the team recently became grandparents and they thought becoming certified would be a great way to provide an additional feeling of security while babysitting.
CPR Training Through the Pandemic
During the pandemic, Brighton Fire Authority fire protection specialist Capt. Corey Laber said, the department saw a significant drop in the number of people who wanted to learn CPR.
“When the pandemic hit, obviously, the person-to-person limitations put a hold to any of CPR classes,” Laber said.
The American Heart Association, which supports the authority’s classes, responded with hybrid and virtual options.
“Our requirement to stay certified in CPR didn’t go away in the pandemic. It just became that much harder to find somewhere to recertify,” he said.
He added that the authority discovered while offering hybrid options was that people enjoyed the convenience of not having to sit in a classroom for hours. Because of that, the hybrid and in-person classes have continued to be offered.
Learning the Technique
The three-hour in-person training for Grass Roots employees included videos provided by the American Heart Association and hands-on instruction.
Grass Roots members heard step-by-step instructions, including how to assess if the area is safe to conduct CPR, how to tap on a person and shout at them for a response to whether they are OK, how to instruct people to contact 911, and how to have someone find an automated external defibrillator (AED).
According to Laber, compressions to breaths should be done at a ratio of 30:2 with a rate of compressions being 100 to 120 per minute, to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. Using mannequins, including child-, teen- and adult-sized, members of the Grass Roots Marketing team practiced different scenarios before completing certification.
Team members also learned to open an AED and follow the instructions to provide a potentially life-saving shock.
According to Laber, the need for CPR has increased in recent years and offering classes helps reduce the risk of unnecessary deaths in the community by getting more people certified.
About three years ago, the department started using Pulse Point, an app that notifies people who download it when a 911 call is made and someone is in need of CPR within 1,000 feet in public places. Pulse Point is used by all eight fire departments in Livingston county, along with Livingston County EMS and Livingston County Central Dispatch.
“What we’ve learned is if we can get compressions going, the percentage it increases your likelihood of surviving is astronomical,” Laber said.
According to Laber, the chance of someone surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest nationwide is about 6%. But since Pulse Point first became very popular on the West Coast the survivability rate increased from 6% to 30 or 40% in areas where it is used.
“We’ve just proven that the sooner we can get someone’s hands doing compressions, the better the outcome is for the person. Our goal is to get as many people enrolled in the app as we can, so that when that happens we can increase their survivability,” Laber said.
CPR Training Options
Laber said businesses interested in receiving a private training like Grass Roots can contact the Brighton Area Fire Authority, with a group of six or more and book a class for $40 per person.
For individuals, there are options offered every other month in person or via hybrid classes.
For more information, call Laber at 810-423-0173 or email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Brighton Fire Authority CPR training aims to educate, save lives