CPR, defibrillator training at Rosedale Center could save lives

When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, minutes may determine survival. That’s why the Roseville Fire Department and other first responders will be training all comers on March 8 and 9 at Rosedale Center.

“A lot of people think you need to be a professional to give somebody CPR or use a defibrillator,” said David Brosnahan, Roseville assistant fire chief and emergency manager. “But with just a few minutes training, you can save somebody’s life.”

The training will be offered to anyone who stops by the stations set up in front of the Von Maur department store at Rosedale on Friday, March 8, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 9, from 12:30 to 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the City of Roseville, the fire department and the volunteer Roseville Community Health Awareness Team (CHAT).

People can spend a half hour or more going to the three stations to learn different skills, or as little as 10 minutes to learn and practice CPR or use of a defibrillator — which comes with in-the-moment instructions on what to do.

“The important thing when you’re in a situation like this is to act, and what we teach you is some basic skills and confidence to take action when it really counts,” Brosnahan said.

Heart Safe Roseville

The event at Rosedale will be the biggest since the Roseville City Council gave its blessing in November to work toward becoming a Heart Safe Community — a nationwide initiative aimed at helping more people survive cardiac arrest.

Since then, the city already is nearing qualification as a Heart Safe Community. The process includes training bystanders to recognize and treat cardiac arrest until health professionals arrive; increase the number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the community and train people to use them; and heighten training of health professionals from emergency responders to hospitals.

Roseville Fire Department and others already have trained more than 500 people on CPR, Brosnahan said. Some merchants have donated coupons to entice more people to take CPR training at the Rosedale event.

At the three training stations at Rosedale, one will include information and training to give CPR, a second will offer information and training on defibrillators, and the third will give information about a new phone app called PulsePoint.

The PulsePoint app — already with more than 3 million subscribers, including some in Roseville — allows those trained on CPR to get a phone alert when someone within a quarter mile suffers cardiac arrest.

But most opportunities to provide CPR likely are at home, with people you know, said Bill Marczewski, active with CHAT and a major force in starting the Heart Safe program in Roseville.

“I was talking with a woman recently who had to use CPR on her husband at home and probably saved his life,” he said. “She had been worried before about doing it right, but when her husband was down, she said the adrenaline kicked in and she was right there with strong, even strokes.”

And it’s not just humans who can benefit from CPR. At a training in January at Parkview Center School, about 45 elementary students got a chance to work not just on a humanoid mannequin but on a dog mannequin as well.

“The kids loved it. You may be able to save the life of your pet,” Marczewski said. “The dog even had its tongue hanging out — a sign of an obstructed airway, which you’re trained to look for.”

For more information about the Heart Safe initiative, go to www.cityofroseville.com/3288/Heart-Safe.


—Warren Wolfe is a Roseville resident who retired from the Star Tribune, where he reported on aging and health care policy issues.

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