AUGUSTA —The American Heart Association and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation recently teamed up to raise awareness about Hands-Only CPR by training State of Maine employees and the public in Hands-Only CPR during a mobile tour that stopped at Capitol Park in Augusta.

Maine is among seven states where the tour will stop through Oct. 3. The Association and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation aimed to train 250 participants in Hands-Only CPR at this event. However, they exceeded that goal by training 272 people. Hands-Only CPR has two steps, performed in this order: when you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911; then, push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives, according to a news release from Brenda Vitali, senior regional director, communications, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“About 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die, which makes this mobile tour training all the more critical because we need bystanders to act if they witness a person suffering a cardiac emergency,” said Richard Veilleux, the Heart Association’s Maine Board Chair and Program Manager at MaineHealth, according to the release. “We hope to instill confidence about performing Hands-Only CPR among participants and empower them so they won’t be afraid to perform CPR. By learning CPR and acting fast, any one of us can save a life.”

Two emcees led 30-minute interactive sessions that covered an introduction followed by a performance of a song for the audience to remember when administering Hands-Only CPR. Each participant received a free CPR Anytime Kit that they will use to practice Hands-Only CPR during the session while a song that is 100 to 120 beats per minutes — the rate you should push on the chest during CPR —played in the background.

In addition to the group training sessions, the tour features the following:

AED Learning Lab: This interactive station shows users how to properly use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.


Hands-Only CPR Learning Labs: These instructional stations provide an opportunity to learn Hands-Only CPR on high fidelity manikins, or rubber torsos, that are connected to touch screen laptops. Participants can practice Hands-Only CPR on the manikins and do a test session that will generate a score and provide real-time feedback on their training.

Social Media Stations: Visitors can post about their training experience and share information about Hands-Only CPR via social media stations throughout the event.

Passport: Each participant will receive a Passport that will help them track the activities they complete such as using the Learning Labs. Then, they can submit their Passport at the end of their Mobile Tour experience to be entered to win a prize.

“We’re excited about our annual tour with the American Heart Association because it’s a valuable way to connect with our communities and bring lifesaving training directly to them,” said Dan Corcoran, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, according to the release. “The tour will ultimately help people understand that anyone can save a life with the right training, which is important because they may need to save the life of someone they love.”

This year, the association debuted its new Hands-Only CPR Training video that stars actress and comedienne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, who teaches this skill. This memorable video is another way that the public can learn the two steps to save a life if they’re unable to attend the tour stop.

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