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April 24, 2012 -- June 15, 2009 was a typical Monday for 53-year old Wes Rogers. He arrived to work on time, ate lunch, and settled into his afternoon activities.
Shortly before 1:15 pm, Wes suffered sudden cardiac arrest sitting in his work chair. Luckily, his co-workers found him almost immediately and called 9-1-1. In less than four minutes, Portland firefighters from Station 19 (Mt. Tabor) and AMR Ambulance paramedics arrived on-scene.
As Wes lay motionless, firefighters and paramedics performed Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for over 20 minutes which helped deliver a limited amount of blood and oxygen to his brain. During that time, firefighters applied an electric shock to his chest with a procedure called defibrillation.
Thankfully, after three years, Wes has fully recovered from his heart attack. He is taking steps to prevent future heart problems and living a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as Wes. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately 80% of cardiac arrests happen somewhere other than a hospital and about 92% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before they even get to the hospital.
Wes knows that getting help right away was crucial to his survival.
If more people knew Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), more lives could be saved. Statistics show that immediate CPR can more than double a victim's chance of survival.
Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has a high cardiac arrest survival rate; in order to achieve even greater success, we need your help. Bystanders who are able to recognize a medical emergency, quickly call 9-1-1 to summon emergency help, and begin CPR have the power to be life-savers.
PF&R encourages anyone and everyone to learn CPR. By knowing this life-saving technique, you will have the power to save a life.
What is CPR?
CPR is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest. When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to "buy time" until normal heart function is restored.
The American Red Cross offers first aid, CPR, and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to meet the needs of workplace responders, school staffs, professional responders and healthcare providers, as well as the general public. To learn more and register for training, visit http://www.redcross.org/takeaclass.