Firefighters struggle to fund more CPR training

Modern CPR involves chest compressions without blowing air into the mouth, and teaching that can save lives.

But Kansas City firefighters learned Wednesday that they did not get a grant to help teach CPR in poor neighborhoods, which most need it.

They wanted the $55,000 grant for more training equipment and will continue to apply for other money, said Dr. Richard Gist, principal assistant to the chief.

They also did not a $175,000 grant they previously applied for related to the program.

Studies show that too many bystanders do not give any kind of CPR. A study also showed that people who go into cardiac arrest in poor African-American neighborhoods were only half as likely to get CPR from bystanders as are those in arrest in wealthier neighborhoods.

Part of the problem seems to be that people are leery of blowing into the mouth of a dead person.

But the city survival rate when bystanders give CPR or use a defibrillator is almost 40 percent – compared to 14 percent when witnesses do nothing or 7 percent if there are no witnesses.

On Monday, Gist reported to the mayor and city manager that expanding all CPR teaching would increase survival rates.

“It’s very simple to teach – it’s press here, press hard and don’t stop.”

He said they will continue to train citizens and try to find money to train more.

“We’re specifically interested in bringing this training to the areas where people are actually at somewhat greater risk (of cardiac arrest) and are least likely to get bystander help,” he said Wednesday. “We’ll make this happen – we just have to find the money.”

Comments are closed.