Learning a life-saving skill

By: 
Wade Young, Montgomery Messenger

Ambulance member Rollie Vlasak shows participants one of the ways to check for a pulse at the CPR training on Thursday, July 11. (Wade Young photo)

It began with the desire to babysit.

Christine Skluzacek wanted to baysit her granddaughter, Marie Joy, but Marie’s parents - Makayla and husband James - encouraged Skluzacek and her family to take infant CPR. As luck would have it, the Montgomery Ambulance Service offered a free, noncertification refresher class last week. Skluzacek was excited and signed up with two of her boys, Luke and Connor.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is a technique used across the world to help revive a person when their heart has stopped beating. Skluzacek was part of a small group of people who received free CPR training on Thursday, July 11 from members of the Montgomery Ambulance.

The free course walked the participants through the different steps when performing CPR. Using infant and adult manikins, participants learned to assess a scene, recognize cardiac arrest, call 911, and do a pattern of 30 compressions, followed by two breaths.

Three Montgomery Ambulance members were on hand for training. Rollie Vlasak, Arletta Appelhof and Gary Harreld passed on their vast experience in the field of saving lives. They said if people weren’t comfortable doing rescue breaths, they could do the pattern of 30 compressions, count to two, then repeat for 100 to 120 a minute. Think of the song, “Staying Alive” to keep the beat.

“You don’t have to do the breaths as long as they have an open airway. Then you need to do just the compressions,” Vlasak stated. “The important thing is to do the compressions to get the blood through the whole body to preserve the organs,” Vlasak said.

The EMS members didn’t mince words about what participants could expect if they need to use....

To see more on this story pick up the July 18, 2019 print edition of the Montgomery Messenger. 

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