CPR class teaches life-saving techniques

Kathryn Ryan, 21, political science, practices chest compressions on a dummy during the CPR certification class. Dilan Swift, 20, history, takes out his cell phone to practice calling 911. (Shannon Patrick)

Anna Gleason

If someone stops breathing, what would you do? Through Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training, you might just have an answer that will save the day.

On Monday, April 21, Students for the Future of America hosted a CPR certification course at Saddleback College for anyone interested in becoming certified. The course lasted for two hours, giving those in attendance an overview of life-saving techniques in case of heart attack, stroke, drowning, choking and other emergency situations.

Hosted by John Voris, an Orange County paramedic and firefighter, the class watched a video detailing the dangers and benefits of administering CPR.

“We wanted to do this because the club wants to promote being responsible and being prepared,” said SFA Club President Dilan Swift, 20, history. “We want to enhance students’ knowledge.”

Students were able to practice their new skills on life-sized dummies, breathing into the mouth and pumping the heart to keep oxygen flowing to the brain. Students also practiced on infant dolls, learning what to do if a child is choking or needs CPR.

“You can continue to do [CPR] for a long time,” Voris said. “It’s not as efficient as our normal mechanism, but to keep the brain alive, you can keep going for a while.”

In Orange County, fire stations are designed to be able to respond to an emergency within six minutes of a call for help; those with CPR training can assist the patient for that time until medical help arrives.

CPR certification is also useful for students interested in a career in teaching or coaching.

“I took a CPR class when I was 12,” said Anthony Cabrera, 20, kinesiology. “I think now you’re more aware of what to do. If you’re coaching and an athlete goes down, you’ll know what to do.”

Soh Thongsuk, 19, psychology, agrees.

“I think it’s necessary to know,” Thongsuk said. “A lot of jobs in your future, you might need the knowledge.”

This specific certification class is designed to teach a lay person to perform CPR; if students intend to enter the medical profession, they are required to take a class from the American Heart Association. Certified individuals receive a CPR certification card that is valid for two years.

The class also covered one’s rights and responsibilities. Those who are certified are not obligated to give mouth to mouth resuscitation to anyone who may have blood borne pathogens. They may also refrain from administering CPR if they feel uncomfortable. If someone is unconscious, he or she has implied consent, and the person performing CPR is thus protected under the Good Samaritan law.