requires the immediate need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
Brittany Sherwood, 18, wasn’t expecting it and, chances are, neither will you. This is why CPR certification is so important. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada. That’s one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes and most of them occur in homes and public places (85 per cent or four out of five).
Last spring, Brittany, a lifeguard at Southland Leisure Centre, was released from school early and arrived home to discover her father, Ken, experiencing terrible back pain. After minutes of trying to relieve the pain with no success, he collapsed to the floor.
Finding him unresponsive, she called 9-1-1. Pulling from the skills she learned in her Lifesaving Society CPR course a mere two weeks earlier, she started chest compressions.
“The only thing I found myself saying was, ‘Dad, you’ll be okay, I promise.’ I am so grateful I was able to keep that promise I made to him,” Brittany says.
Within seven minutes, EMS arrived, took over CPR and applied an automated external defibrillator (AED), which delivered one shock....restoring her father’s pulse to his heart.
“There is no way to predict when the life of someone important to you or even a stranger could be saved if you are trained to handle the situation,” says Brittany. “My dad had no history of heart problems, it just happened.”
For her quick response and outstanding effort, Brittany was awarded a Rescue Commendation Award from the Lifesaving Society.
“Prepare yourself for an emergency situation. If an individual is unconscious, the addition of an AED to the CPR sequence can substantially increase the chance of survival,” says Brad Johnston, Certification Instructor with Recreation. “What most of us don’t realize is that you’re most likely to use the skill of CPR when helping a loved one. It’s such a simple life skill to learn and the benefits can be priceless.”
A variety of first aid, fitness, CPR, and water safety certification courses are available at various locations throughout the city. The courses meet International First Aid and CPR guidelines and are intended for the workplace and general public.
Registration for Recreation’s winter programs has already started. There are more than 3,000 registered programs and 6,500 drop-in opportunities to choose from this season.
Learn new skills, meet new friends and have fun this winter. There’s more than you think with The City of Calgary Recreation.
Register online at calgary.ca/recreation or by calling 403-268-3800.