SAN ANGELO, TX - The first American heart month took place in February 1964 where President Lyndon B. Johnson officially proclaimed February as American Heart Month.
"Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Boston had all created heart associations, well about 1948 they all got together and created the heart association and they went public on a radio station,” said Carrie Sonnenberg, BLS instructor at Concho Valley CPR Training Center.
Since the American Heart Association began its number one priority has been to improve heart health in all Americans. One of the ways it does that is through the teaching of CPR.
Sonnenberg says that if more people knew CPR more lives could be saved.
"We just want them to be the first people there to be able to provide CPR before EMS arrives because literally anything you can do can help save lives," said Sonnenberg.
She says first aid training no longer only covers small bumps and bruises.
"It’s First Aid, CPR, and AED, and it also covers your choking scenarios and… the opioid epidemic that we have going on right now and it helps you to treat people that you find,” said Sonnenberg.
She says the first step to feeling confident in performing CPR is to take a certification class.
"I would feel extremely comfortable because you have many people around who will know exactly what to do and steps to take to save your life,” said Sonnenberg.
If a victim is in a situation where they need CPR and there is no one there to provide it, that victims chances of survival decrease by 7 percent every minute they go without aid. Sonnenberg says the training is physically demanding but worth it.
"It is tiring because you have so many seconds to be able to do 30 compressions and 2 breaths," said Sonnenberg.
And you never know when you might find yourself in a place where someone needs your help to stay alive.
"It covers all sorts of things that can help you, no matter if you’re at the ocean or on a farm, snake bites, bug bites, jelly fish bites,” said Sonnenberg.
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