Seniors learn about CPR, AED

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Critical Care Fire Paramedics Tyler Suszek, left, and Lt. Andy Marceau teach a CPR class at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center on Wednesday for National Rural Health Day.

ALPENA –The Alpena Fire Department held a CPR class at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center on Wednesday to teach the seniors how to save another person’s life if something happens for National Rural Health Day today.

Critical Care Fire Paramedics Tyler Suszek and Lt. Andy Marceau taught the seniors how to do chest compressions and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

“It’s great to give back,” Marceau said. “We hold these classes for those that are interested in learning CPR. Learning CPR can help save a friend or family member’s life and studies show the CPR does help save people’s lives.”

Fire Chief Bill Forbush said that the Michigan Center for Rural Health is partnering with Michigan Rural EMS Network to celebrate National Rural Health Day with some initiatives throughout the state and across the country.

“Here in Alpena, we are trying to spread the word on CPR and raise awareness on the EMS system here in Alpena County,” Forbush said. “This event was intended to do those things, along with gathering a group of caring people like our seniors to lear n more about these skills, become more familiar and to raise awareness of AEDs.”

There is an AED at the Alpena Senior Citizens Center and a number of them are located throughout the community.

Learning CPR can help save a friend or family member’s life if they do go into cardiac arrest. The chances of going into cardiac arrest increase as people get older.

“These classes help people feel more comfortable if they are ever in a situation where they need to do CPR,” Suszek said. “We’re spreading the word about CPR and educating the public on what to do if someone does need CPR.”

Seniors are a caring group of people and look out for one another Forbush said. He said a key to surviving cardiac arrest is to start CPR as soon as possible.

“This wasn’t really a CPR class, it was more of a presentation of the basics of how to do CPR,” Forbush said. “The seniors came forward and practiced the hands-on skills, they asked questions, were engaged, and very interested.”

Forbush said that seniors are a group of people that they think would be willing to step in and help if needed.

“We’re very happy to partner with the center to do this initiative today,” he said.

CPR has become more simple in the past few years. For the general public, Forbush said that hands-only CPR is the key and to get it started quickly.

“If we can get people to do it that way, that will allow the patients to remain viable long enough for the paramedics to get there,” he said. “When we get there, there are other things we can do to help, but we can’t do anything if they aren’t viable in the first place.”

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.