I have thought long and hard about how to best prepare all parents for the unthinkable. That, of course, would be the moment one might have to actually perform CPR or try and remove a life-threatening airway obstruction.
Now entering my 14th year as director of Save A Little Life, inc. I have known nearly a dozen parents who have actually faced this reality and proved that simple but quick action is at the root of survival.
My respect for firefighters, paramedics and other “First Responders” knows no bounds. Their professionalism, dedication and selflessness is well established. At the same time, these highly trained care givers cannot get to you (in many instances) quickly enough to avert a worst case scenario.
As we prepare for 2013, new information recently cited from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) – where EMT’s and paramedics originate – indicates that it takes, on average, 7 minutes to get to your home or other location. A recent L.A. Times article, again citing LAFD data suggests that the 7 minutes may be a good response time and that some L.A. residents may have to wait longer.*
Science reminds us that the human brain, without circulating oxygen will begin to deteriorate prior to 7 minutes. Longer delays only result in worse outcomes.
There can only be one conclusion: Parents, family & care providers are “First Responders” and must see themselves and respond as such. This awesome responsibility demands that we re-focus on what can be done prior to paramedic response to your location.
The answer remains the same as we’ve been preaching for nearly 15 years: Learn CPR and other life-saving techniques and make a critical difference in those most precious minutes until help arrives.
Becoming proficient in CPR is not a difficult task. However, it requires focus and attention to conditions in the moment. And above all, these moments cannot include indecision and/or inaction.
Save A Little Life urges parents to take a class and, if need be, a refresher class as infants become toddlers and onto childhood. Please logon to our web site, check our Class Calendar for dates, locations, etc. We continue to offer our courses city-wide with classes on weekday evenings and weekends. Private courses are still very popular and we will always try to accommodate families in their homes for a more comfortable and familiar setting.
As the owner and director of Save A Little Life, I wish all of the thousands of parents who have taken our course in the past 13 years to continue to be vigilant in their preparedness for those unthinkable moments.