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Citywide CPR For ‘Take Heart Woodbury’

Woodbury hopes to train 7,000 people in “hands-only” CPR; kickoff event planned for Monday, Feb. 13.

Woodbury will be a heck of a lot safer in the coming months if city officials have anything to say about it.

The Woodbury hopes to teach 7,000 citizens “hands-only” CPR this year. The initiative kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, at the department’s headquarters on Radio Drive.

The idea behind “Take Heart Woodbury” is to get as many residents as possible to attend upcoming classes so they in turn teach others how to do hands-only CPR, said J.B. Guiton, Woodbury Emergency Medical Services commander.

“Hands-only” refers to CPR that is done without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Guiton said. That aspect of the aid can make people hesitate to do CPR, he said, relaying information from the American Heart Association.

“What’s more frustrating is how often people don’t start CPR at all, and that’s what we’re trying to change,” Guiton said.

Training opportunities include:

  • Monday, Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the training room at the Woodbury Public Safety Building, 2100 Radio Drive.
  • Saturday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m., in the training room at the Woodbury Public Safety Building, 2100 Radio Drive. This is a "Train the Trainer" session, meaning Woodbury Public Safety personnel will be training people who will train others at their workplace, school, church, etc.
  • Monday, Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m., in the training room at the Woodbury Public safety Building. This is also a "Train the Trainer" session.

Hands-only CPR is a simplified method of CPR that requires no mouth-to-mouth breathing. It is a two-step technique that involves calling 911 and pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim's chest until help arrives.

Guiton said the technique is has been shown to be just as effective as traditional CPR.

“It is highly effective,” he said, “and may be more effective than regular CPR in the first six to eight minutes.”

A handful of people are saved in Woodbury each year because of CPR, Guiton said.

The American Heart Association developed the technique in 2008, according to a Star Tribune story on the effort, and the group is also pushing for legislation that would require training for high school students.

There are similar programs being held in other cities, Guiton said.  

For more information on the initiative, check out a city of Woodbury webpage dedicated to the effort or email cpr@ci.woodbury.mn.us.

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