CPR Challenge Is Striving To Get Kingman Community Trained

	Vanessa Cabrerea learns the compression-only CPR technique Monday from Marianne Falcon, a member of Mohave County Search and Rescue, at River Medical’s training booth outside Walmart. CPR training continues at 23 locations around the county this week.

Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.

Vanessa Cabrerea learns the compression-only CPR technique Monday from Marianne Falcon, a member of Mohave County Search and Rescue, at River Medical’s training booth outside Walmart. CPR training continues at 23 locations around the county this week.

CPR training schedule

Tuesday, May 23:

American Woodmark, 8 a.m. to noon, 6-9 p.m.

Arizona Proving Grounds, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Hall Complex, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Icorp, 9-10:30 a.m.

Kingman Fitness Club, 8-11 a.m.

Kingman High School, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Powerhouse Visitor Center, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mohave Community College, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pioneer Title (Stockton Hill Road), 9-10:30 a.m.

Walmart, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Manzanita School, 9-11 a.m.

Maverick-Golden Valley, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, May 24:

American Woodmark, 8 a.m. to noon, 6-9 p.m.

Arizona Proving Grounds, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Hall Complex, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Goodyear Tire, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Grand Canyon West, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Grynkewich Law Office, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kingman Airport Authority, TBD

Powerhouse Visitor Center, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mohave Community College, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Peach Springs Route 66 Park, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pioneer Title (Hualapai Mountain Road), 9-10:30 a.m.

R Burger, noon to 4 p.m.

Walmart, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, May 25:

Arizona Proving Grounds, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Flying J Truck Stop, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grand Canyon West, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mohave Community College, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Peach Springs Route 66 Park, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Walmart, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, May 26:

Flying J Truck Stop, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Love’s Truck Stop, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Yucca Fire Station, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It takes quick and decisive action to save a life when someone is suffering from a heart attack, and it starts with a technique called compression-only CPR.

River Medical, under parent company American Medical Response, hopes to teach 3,000 people how to respond to sudden cardiac arrest this week in its fifth annual AMR World CPR Challenge.

River Medical is conducting CPR training at 23 locations throughout Kingman, including Walmart, where 25-year-old Vanessa Cabrera got a quick lesson Monday and received a certification card.

“It helps to save people’s lives,” she said after performing the technique on a plastic dummy. “I have a baby that’s medically fragile, and I’ve always been into the medical field.”

More than 800 local citizens were trained in compression-only CPR last year, and the goal this year is to blow those numbers away, said Chuck Waalkens, operations supervisor for River Medical.

The company partnered with health care facilities, emergency responders and schools to canvas a large portion of Kingman and surrounding communities. By getting trained technicians out there with the public, the 3,000 goal can be attained, Waalkens said.

“The training is basic hands-only CPR,” he said. “This means all we’re looking for you to do is push hard and push fast. It only takes two minutes to learn this life-saving skill.”

Survival rates

Some 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur every year. Studies show that survival rates can double or triple if CPR is administered in the first critical minutes until emergency medical technicians arrive.

That inspired AMR to train local citizens so they’ll know exactly what to do if they encounter someone having a heart attack.

Brian Donaldson, a River Medical paramedic from Lake Havasu City, said a lot of people walk past his table at Walmart because they figure they don’t need to learn something they’ll never need.

While participation was sporadic at Walmart, his crew taught CPR to nearly 500 students at White Cliffs Middle School earlier in the day.

“Most of them were playing with their spinners or on their phones, but there’s always one or two in the class that are really interested, that want to know,” Donaldson said. “Maybe they want to be a doctor or a nurse.”

Compression-only CPR is by far the most effective life-saving procedure, Waalkens said. The first step when you find someone unresponsive is to call 9-1-1, then push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. Send a bystander to find an automated external defibrillator if possible.

Spread the news

“Having a community full of citizens that know what to do in the event of sudden cardiac arrest and being willing to take action is monumental in my mind,” Waalkens said.

“All of us have loved ones that we would want somebody to take immediate action to save their life if their heart suddenly stopped. Imagine knowing that there are 3,000 more people in your community that could do that now?”

The benefits of CPR training will last for decades, he added. In 2010, the bystander CPR rate was 21.4 percent. It increased to 40.8 percent in 2014 through community training.

“Every week in the news you can see stories about the general public becoming sudden heroes when they take action with this training they have learned,” Waalkens said. “Not surprisingly, we frequently see young adults and children that have had this training that step into action on a family member.”

AMR is expanding its reach this year, using a network of EMTs and paramedics coast to coast to provide this life-saving training to as many people as possible. AMR trained 54,884 people in one day when the first challenge was held in 2013.

River Medical provides ambulance service to Kingman, Golden Valley, Parker, Quartzite and Lake Havasu, covering more than 9,000 square miles. The company has about 110 paramedics and EMTs, and handles 24,000 calls a year.