For Immediate Release
Date: February 14, 2013
Dancing with a disco puppet to the song “Stayin’ Alive,” Mayor Edna B. Jackson on Thursday helped launch a new initiative to train 6,000 residents in life-saving Hands-Only CPR this year.“This is about saving lives,” Mayor Jackson said. “We are going to train an army of life-savers in Savannah.”
Mayor Jackson donned bell bottoms and a feather boa to highlight the simple Hands-Only CPR technique, which involves chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gee’s 1970s classic.
Over the next three months, the City and grant partner Saving Lives in Chatham County will provide 1,000 residents with free “train-the-trainer” training and Hands-Only CPR kits, each of which includes a practice dummy torso, a dvd and instructional materials. Classes will be offered at more than 40 locations across the community. Residents can sign up for classes, which last about 45 minutes, online at www.slicc.org/SavannahCPR.
Those 1,000 residents will each pledge to train five other people – often family members, friends or co-workers – bringing to 6,000 the total number of Savannah residents trained.
The Savannah CPR Initiative is the result of a competitive grant recently awarded to the Mayor's Office by the Bloomberg Foundation’s Cities of Service initiative, the American Heart Association, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Savannah was one of five cities to receive the award. The others were Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Virginia Beach, Va.
The CEOs of both St. Joseph’s Candler Health System and Memorial University Medical Center were at Thursday’s new conference to offer support, as were the heads of Healthy Savannah, and various community nonprofits.
The Hands-Only CPR Training Kit grant program is part of the American Heart Association’s national Hands-Only CPR campaign, which is supported by a three-year, $4.5 million grant from the WellPoint Foundation. The campaign uses public service announcements, social media and a multi-state mobile training tour to teach the Hands-Only CPR method as part of an aim to double the rate of survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.
Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and 89 percent of Americans die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Hands-Only CPR is a quick, easy way to save more lives. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest. Doing these compressions at the proper beat can more than double a person’s chances of survival; coincidentally, the proper beat matches the classic Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive.”