Since 2002 Billings health care providers and emergency responders have been teaching lifesaving cardio pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, to the general public and for free. They're doing it again on Feb. 29.
Everyone needs to learn CPR says Jason Mahoney, a CPR trainer in Billings and one of the organizers of CPR Saturday in Billings.
"Those folks that go into cardiac arrest outside a hospital, less than one in 10 will survive that. And a lot of that we know is tied to the fact that there are not enough people who know CPR to provide that once it’s recognized," Mahoney says.
CPR is used to revive someone who’s stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped. Mahoney says the technique has been simplified over the years and almost anyone can learn.
He says anyone who hesitates about mouth to mouth breathing can still provide chest compression
"If you are not fully prepared for with some sort of barrier device, you don’t want to do mouth-to-mouth on a stranger, studies have shown there is still a lot of efficacy with just chest compressions," Majoney says.
Stop The Bleed classes are also being offered in conjunction with CPR Saturday. The class teaches basic live-saving training in bleeding control principles on providing immediate, front-line aid until first responders arrive.
Mahoney says if attendees learn CPR and Stop the Bleed, they will be much more of a life saver than when they walked in.
The trainings are February 29 at the Billings Clinic Mary Alice Fortin Health Conference Center. CPR Saturday is free for the general public. Certification courses are offered at 8 A.M. and noon and cost $50 dollars.
This year’s event is being held in honor of Kristi Deckard, who had helped organize CPR Saturday from its inception in 2002 until her death last year.