A Public Pledge
By Lisa Murphy
I have a confession to make: I don’t know CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
And I’m not alone. According to the American Heart Association, roughly 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during an emergency because they either don’t know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed.
I’m making this confession because I was recently in a situation where I witnessed a man save a young girl’s life by performing CPR. She had drowned in a hot tub, and his quick action to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on her, (according to the paramedics who arrived on the scene a short time later), is what saved her ten-year old life.
It was both a horrifying and incredible thing to witness. I felt grateful for the heroic actions of this man and even more grateful that this young girl survived.
However, walking away from the scene after all was said and done, I could not help but feel guilty and helpless that had that man not been there, I would not have known what to do. I can’t shake the feeling that if God forbid I were ever to find myself in another emergency situation such as this one, that I would not have the first clue what to do, other than call emergency services.
As a daughter, a friend, a neighbor and a community member – I no longer feel like having my phone handy is sufficient in case of emergency.
So I am making a public pledge that I will take a local CPR course and become CPR certified before the end of the summer. I am doing this for myself; but my hope in making this pledge publicly is that 70% of you reading this, who like me are not equipped with the skills needed to administer CPR, will consider taking a course as well. I’ve done a little research and most courses are only two days long, and at the end of the course you are certified for up to two years.
If you can’t fit a CPR course into your busy schedule this summer, the American Heart Association also has some very helpful resources online, including FAQ’s, statistics and a one minute instructional video on how to perform hands-only CPR.
This young girl was fortunate to survive because someone on the scene was trained in CPR. Although I hope I am never in a situation where I will need to use the skills I will learn, I still want to be prepared. I hope you’ll consider preparing yourself as well – according to the AHA the life you save is most likely to be a loved one.
Be safe out there this summer.