American Heart Association Kicks Off New Program

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

450 people across the nation died today from a heart attack.

Statistics show many die before they reach the hospital.

The American Heart Association is kicking off a new program in Pike County that's designed to cut down on the number of deaths.

Help within the first minutes of a heart attack can be the difference between life and death.

Pike County EMT’s sometimes have long drives to get to a person, so the American Heart Association is starting the "Have a heart, save a life" program to help.

Pike County EMT's drive thousands of miles each year to reach people having heart attacks,

“Sometimes it can be very treacherous to get there,” Randy Courtney said.

The longer, narrow and curvy roads sometimes mean it takes longer to get there, and that can be deadly when every minute counts.

“When you're not breathing and you're not pumping, six minutes is a lot,” Courtney said.

“People are dying needlessly because someone has decided not to provide CPR,” Joe Laskowski said.

American Heart Association statistics show 94 percent of heart attack victims die before reaching the hospital.

They say doing CPR while waiting for EMTs can triple a person's chance for survival.

So the American Heart Association is starting, "Have a Heart, Save a Life," in Pike County, a program to train CPR in the communities.

They are starting with 7th graders because Heart Association representatives say they typically share what they learned with their families.

“With this new program introduced, I can see that it can save lives because if you start CPR immediately, then that two or three minutes it takes for us to get there, you're going to be that much better off,” Courtney said.

“One person's life is definitely worth all this effort,” Laskowski said. They hope it saves many more.

The program's coordinators say the CPR course kit only takes 22 minutes, so they hope many will take part in the training.

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