I’ve been a Volunteer Firefighter for almost 20 years. In that time I’ve taken some sort of first aid or CPR class about once a year. I’ve used the first aid stuff here and there, but have never had to do CPR or the heimlich on anyone.
I was with my family at a party and we had just sat down to eat. My son, who just turned two was right next to me. He looked up and had tears welling up in his eyes. As with any kid that can be normal, but it became obvious immediately that he wasn’t making any sound. He was choking. Without thinking I grabbed him, had him upside down with his head cradled in my hand and his chest on my arm and gave a quick shot with my other palm to his back. The food shot out to the floor and he took a big gulp of air. He was okay.
I’ve sometimes wondered if we really needed to take refreshers so often, but after tonight it became very clear why. I didn’t have to think. I knew exactly what to do without hesitation and not one second was wasted.
So, a big thank you to all of my trainers over the years. Your hard work paid off through me and for me tonight.
For anyone else, parent or not, find time to take a first aid and CPR class. Take it over every couple of years. You truly never know when something like this is going to happen right in front of you, but don’t be unprepared. It could make a huge difference to someone you love. Check with your local hospital to find out if they offer classes. Some, such as Grandview Hospital in Sellersville PA, offer FREE CPR classes and CPR/First Aid Classes.
The American Heart Association says that 4-6 minutes is the optimal window to begin CPR and that less than one third of people have CPR started by someone near them when the emergency happens. They also state the by having someone start CPR immediately, the change of survival can double or even triple.
Pass this along and share it. I hope it helps someone else save a loved one.