County commissioners practice CPR to the beat of popular Bee Gees song
WEST CHESTER >> There was disco music and laughter at the Chester County commissioners meeting Tuesday as the three officials got handson training on a trio of rubberized dolls to the amusement of those in the board room.
But the matter at hand was as serious as the proverbial heart attack.
Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone, and Terence Farrell were taken through the steps of so-called “immediate hands only CPR” as part of the effort to promote healthy living and emergency preparedness during American Heart Month. Performing
some form of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) increases by two or three times the chances of a person surviving a heart attack,
they were told.
Bobby Kagel, director of the county’s Department of Emergency Services, explained that even though
CPR is the most effective way of helping someone who suffers a cardiopulmonary emergency, many of those who have full training in the ways of CPR sometimes panic or hesitate when confronted with a situation necessitating the technique.
Sometimes they are worried about remembering the steps, and sometimes worried about the mouth to mouth contact they were trained to use.
So Kagel said that emergency responders are urging those who witness heart attacks or strokes to use the simple “hands only” technique, and to remember their favorite disco hit.
“When you see a teenager or an adult collapse,” Kagel said, the first thing you should do is call 9-1-1
for help. Then, he said, put your hands in the center of the person’s chest and “simply push hard and fast at 120 beats per minute.” The easiest way to gauge that pace is to sing along to The Bee Gees’ “Saturday Night Fever” hit, “Stayin’ Alive.”
“Every time you tap your feet to the disco, you’re going to depress,” the victim’s chest, Kagel told the commissioners as they practiced on the dolls. “You want to get them help right away.” He said that those who begin CPR on a victim should continue to keep the beat up until paramedics arrive and tell them they will take over.
According to the county’s proclamation for American Heart Month, it was put into place by President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1964, when more than half the deaths in the United States were caused by cardiovascular disease. The death rate for heart disease has fallen dramatically since the 1960s, but it remains a leading cause of death for men and women, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths each year worldwide – a number that is predicted to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
According to Jean Casner, director of the county’s Health Department, her staff engages the community with a number of educational programs including CPR training, and regularly offers health screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol levels in an effort to help prevent heart disease.
She said the best prevention is to make people aware of how to make healthy choices in their physical activity and nutrition. A simple exercise such as walking will help with one’s ability to stave off heart problems, she noted.
On Valentine’s Day, Chester County Commissioners, from left, Terence Farrell, Michelle Kichline and Kathi Cozzone practiced hands-only CPR to call attention to American Heart Month. Hands-only CPR is a simple two-step procedure to aid a person suffering a heart attack: first, call 9-1-1, then perform rapid pressing, at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute on the chest of the victim. The commissioners practiced to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, which can help keep the correct pace for CPR, according to the American Heart Association.
Chester County Safe Schools Planning Coordinator Chrissy DePaolantonio and Deputy Director of EMS Harry Moore hold “Rescue Annie’s” used to practice CPR.
On Valentine’s Day Chester County Deputy Director of EMS, Harry Moore, left discussed hands-only CPR with Chester County Commissioners, from left, Terence Farrell, Michelle Kichline and Kathi Cozzone during the Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting Tuesday. February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States and worldwide.
Chester County Health Director Jeanne E. Casner, MPH, PMP speaks to the county commissioners about American Heart Month.