WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Fire Department, utilizing curriculum from the American Heart Association, held a CPR certification course for West Orange Girl Scout Troop 20207 and Boy Scout Troop 2 on June 9. In support of the department’s ongoing relationship with Scouting, the course was delivered specifically to these young men and women and was held at the township’s Emergency Operation Center. The program was held as a supplement to the quarterly CPR certification courses the department currently provides for township residents.
Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs and is a leading cause of death. According to AHA, each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.
When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Almost 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. While West Orange is fortunate to have rapid Fire/EMS response, every minute counts in the chain of survival and the benefit of early resident intervention cannot be overstated.
If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend; 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. Unfortunately, only approximately 46 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.
“Offering this program to our township youth helps to foster both positive community engagement and proactive civic responsibility” Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Shelley, the program’s supervisor, said. “Learning this new skill set will prove to be valuable to the Scouts and the community at large.”
The WOFD encourages residents to look for CPR and other program information throughout the year from the WOFD so they can register as soon as any dates are announced.