The St. Charles City Fire Department sponsors CPR training after Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Knowing how to perform CPR can save someone’s life.

The world saw it firsthand as medical staff resuscitated Damar Hamlin when he went into cardiac arrest while playing Monday Night Football. Doctors say Hamlin is making promising progress in his recovery, but he’s not out of the woods just yet.

For this reason, the St. Charles City Fire Department encourages people to learn CPR.

“I think the Damar Hamlin situation has sparked the nation’s interest in what exactly CPR and AED use is and how it can really be used to save a life,” said Fire Captain Kelly Hunsel.

The use of a defibrillator and chest compressions helped revive Hamlin after that shocking moment on the soccer field.

“CPR really does it, it helps perfuse these really vital organs, especially the brain,” Hunsel said.

Hamlin, the 24-year-old Bills safety man, went into cardiac arrest after a first-quarter tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“You don’t have to be an NFL doctor or coach or even a paramedic to do exactly what they did on the field to save Damar Hamlin’s life,” Hunsel said.

The SCFD held a free CPR and AED class over the weekend, once a month.

“I think it really empowers people when they’re in the community and they see an emergency to step in and do something,” she said.

The course lasts about two hours. Hunsel recommends recertification every two years. She recommends people of all ages learn this life-saving skill.

“{Cardiac arrest} occurs every day in our communities across Missouri and across the country,” Hunsel said. “As more people feel empowered to step in to provide that care, whether in a public place or in your own home, there’s a lot we can do by showing up on the ground with advanced measures. But these patients don’t get great results unless they initially had good bystander CPR. It really takes the whole community pulling together to see positive results.”

In 2022, the SCFD responded to 55 cardiac arrests in which a bystander attempted CPR. Layperson CPR was performed in 36% of these patients. Hunsel said that 60% of patients who survived had bystander CPR.

“It really shows that if you have bystanders performing CPR, you have a much higher chance of survival,” Hunsel said.

To find out where you can get CPR certification, contact your local fire or emergency services department. You can also Contact the Red Cross or American Heart Association directly. They offer both online and face-to-face classes. The St. Charles City Fire Department sponsors CPR training after Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest

Sarah Y. Kim

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