Some CPR training programs are starting to open back up after being shut down for months. And local EMS teams are happy to have the extra help.
With the Coronavirus bringing many programs to a halt, CPR training and certification courses were no different. With gathering restrictions, and since CPR deals with the respiratory system, classes were cancelled.
But school is back in session. VT Safety Net is resuming its classes in the next couple of weeks, with things looking a bit different. “Often in CPR classes, people are teamed up with the mannequins, so there is two people and they trade off. And now, everybody will have their own mannequin, 10 feet apart”, says Tamara McLaughlin from VT Safety Net. “And they wont actually be exhaling into the mannequin like we have done in the past.” she tells me that instead, they will be saying “Breathe” to emulate exhaling.
These certification classes are required for all medical professionals to take every so often. Without them, they cannot work.
But it is not just beneficial for medical professionals, Prescott Nadeau, Senior Firefighter with the Williston Fire Department, says bystanders can play a crucial role. “During these COVID times, it’s still very important that bystanders are willing to provide CPR if somebody does go into Cardiac Arrest.”
But for the department, dealing with COVID possible patients, is something they always have to prepare for. “If we get dispatched to a confirmed Cardiac Arrest in which CPR is already in progress, we will have already been wearing our N-95 mask and eye protection. It just takes an additional very brief moment prior to getting into the Ambulance actually, for us to don either the gown, the full Tyvek suit and that face shield when we arrive on scene,” says Nadeau.
And while Nadeau says they use bag-valve masks to assist patients with breathing, he says its always better to be prepared.