Story and photo by Samantha B. Koss
Special to the Mountaineer
The Evans Army Community Hospital Education Department conducted a heart saver class for military Family members at the Family Readiness Center Nov. 19.
The class was a community outreach program designed to teach students how to perform revival techniques in emergency situations. Each student received an American Heart Association certificate of completion after a hands-on exam, which tested each student’s ability to perform resuscitation on adults, children and infants.
“We want to teach them not to be afraid to step in and help a person in an emergency and to save a life,” said Sylvia Perez, heart saver instructor. “You never know when it could happen to you.”
Twenty-one students practiced CPR on manikins while receiving individual help from 11 experienced instructors.
“We are teaching them emergency methods that I’ve used while on teams to effectively treat patients in a combat zone,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel McCollum, cadre in the Warrior Transition Battalion, who has deployed multiple times as a combat medic. “People need to learn how to react quickly in emergency situations.”
The instructors demonstrated chest compressions and the Heimlich maneuver, which is used to remove objects from the airway to prevent suffocation, Perez said. Students then performed the procedures on their own after learning how to recognize and react in emergency situations.
Some students said they attended the class for personal lifesaving skills, while others wanted to learn heart saving techniques to get a job, such as Family member Emily Moker who is trying to get a job in child care.
“I feel well prepared now to help in emergency situations,” Moker said after receiving her certificate. “The class has been very well organized as well as helpful.”
Families interested in taking a heart saver class can contact their unit or Family readiness group to request group classes.
“It is very important to know current reviving methods before stepping in to help save a life,” Perez said.