Free CPR, AED training kicks off project
October 7, 2016
Integral CrossFit and the Mountain View Fire Protection District will be hosting a free CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) class from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on October 14 at their 7960 Niwot Road location.
There are only 15 slots available for the class, and about half are still open.
Jim Pascucci, owner of Integral CrossFit, is hosting the class after the death of a close friend who recently died from a heart attack.
He said his friend also owned a CrossFit facility near Lake Tahoe, and suffered the heart attack while eating breakfast following a workout. He had initially thought it was indigestion.
“You don’t hear about people dying of a heart attack during a marathon, it happens after they stop,” Pascucci said. “These are not the type you would think to have a heart attack, but it happens more often than most people realize.”
The reason for this is that during a workout, muscles have a high demand for oxygen, which translates to blood flow.
When a person stops a workout, the muscles are still wanting that same flow, which dramatically increases the heart rate, and with no exertion the heart is more susceptible to go into cardiac arrest.
The free classes are a precursor to a project Pascucci is working on — having AED’s available for public use along Second Avenue and in Cottonwood Square in Niwot.
“What we’re proposing to do is to put AED’s in businesses,” Pascucci said. “We would populate the area with them so if someone were to go into cardiac arrest, we’d be able to help them. It’s not something we’re talking about doing tomorrow, we’re in the infancy of it.”
The goal is to get various businesses to host boxes that contain the AED’s, along with training the public on how to use them.
It is a simple process. The user hooks it up to the victim, and the machine does the rest. It will administer a shock if necessary and monitor heart activity until first responders arrive.
“In the meantime — while they’re waiting for first responders — they can hook the person up to the AED,” Pascucci said. “The device walks you through it, you don’t really do anything. It applies the shock if needed.”
Pascucci said that survival rate of heart attacks is increased by 75 percent when the person is hooked to an AED as soon as possible.
“In other words, if you have to wait four minutes for someone to administer a shock when you need it, the survivability rate has gone down 75 percent,” Pascucci said. “Most people think that the person having a heart attack is elderly or overweight, but that’s not the case. It can really be anyone, no matter what kind of shape they’re in.”
Pascucci said that all schools in Boulder County are equipped with AED’s, and the city of Denver alone has over 1,000 around town.
“Very minimally it’s a marketing tool for Niwot,” Pascucci said. “But one of the things that is insularly to this AED project is to get as many people as possible trained in CPR and administration of the AED.”
Mountain View Fire Protection District is on board and excited about the idea, Pascucci said.
“The most important thing for the community is that we’re covered,” Pascucci said. “If one person uses it in five years, it would be a success. One of the push backs I get is people asking ‘how many heart attacks are there?’ It doesn’t matter how many there are. How many houses burn down? But you still have fire extinguishers in your house. If it just prevents one person from dying, then it’s worth it.
“The Mountain View Fire Protection District is very much behind this. The big impetus for me is to make sure that we’re covered. One person is too many. It would be better to say that we never used it, but that we were prepared if we did have to.”
There is no cost to businesses to have an AED at their location, but the challenge lies in finding locations that are viable for both proximity and hours of operation.
“We’re not here all the time,” Pascucci said. “The outside doors are generally locked. Since we’re a member of the Niwot Business Association, I thought maybe we should talk to them about putting AED’s around the town.”
As for the training, more classes will be scheduled as interest increases. Information can be found at http://www.integralcrossfit.com/aedproject or by calling 303-678-7014.
“If there’s a public interest, we will continue to do it,” Pascucci said. “We want to get as many people certified as we can.
“We are a caring community. If you look at the demographics of Niwot, it’s mostly elderly people. We have an active older population, but that’s the people who are most susceptible to a heart attack.”