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AMR aims to break CPR record

LaGRANGE – Classic rock rang through WellStar West Georgia’s lobby on Monday, as local paramedics worked to save lives and break records.

Troup County American Medical Response emergency medical technicians are aiming to break their own world record during the fifth annual CPR challenge this week by teaching a million people worldwide what to do when they encounter an unconscious individual.

“This week we are trying to break our own world record by teaching hands only CPR,” Troup AMR Administrator Stephanie Kessler said. “Every year AMR does it worldwide during EMS week, but this is the first year that we have done it for a full week. Normally it was one day, so we are trying to get at least a million people worldwide.”

The CPR challenge highlights the importance of first checking on the person to make sure that they are in fact unconscious then calling for help then beginning chest compressions. According to the EMT’s present, chest compressions are the most important part of CPR.

“What AMR has found is that people are so worried about breathing for that person that they are not actually giving good compressions, and so they are just basically putting the oxygen in that person, and there is no way for the oxygen to move around the body,” Kessler said. “By doing hands on only, when you push down it is creating a vacuum, and so it is going to suck air in, and you are keeping the blood moving.”

Chest compressions are also helpful for those who may not be comfortable giving mouth to mouth aid.

“There are a lot of people now who won’t put their mouth on someone else because of germs and diseases, but they are willing to put their hands on,” EMT LeAnne Lee said. “When you push down it creates the vacuum, and when you let up it lets air in, and we’re circulating the air that you are pulling in with the vacuum.”

Last year Troup County’s AMR group taught 450 people how to perform chest compressions in one day, and they are hopeful for a significantly higher training rate this year. This will be the first year that the group has held the challenge for a full week.

“Really, it is not just to help the community, but it’s to help us because the more people that we can teach that there is something that you can do, the better,” Kessler said. “You don’t necessarily have to breathe and have to remember how many times you’ve pushed. Basically, it is two steps to stay alive – call 911 and start pushing hard and fast until someone gets there.”

AMR plans show people how to perform chest compressions at the Walmart Supercenter and the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Wednesday.