American Heart Association sees high demand for CPR training

The American Heart Association is seeing a high demand for CPR training after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin teamed up with the organization to raise awareness.

Hamlin collapsed on the football field in January after a tackle and CPR brought him back.

Now, he’s teaming up with the American Heart Association to challenge people to learn the life-saving technique.

Some Minnesotans were already forced to put their skills to the test.

Terrifying moments unfolded in Ashley Goette’s home on an early October morning in 2018.

“I was nine months pregnant and I woke to find my husband Andrew suffering from cardiac arrest,” Goette, a West St. Paul resident, said.

She dialed 911 and the operator took the wheel by giving her step by step CPR instructions to bring her husband back to life.

“I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to do it right, but she made me feel competent or as competent as you can be in that situation and it ended up saving his life,” she said.

Experts explained it can happen anywhere in a heartbeat.

“The majority of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home so chances are someone that’s going to help you is going to be a family member or friend,” Justin Bell, American Heart Association vice president of health strategies, said.

According to health experts, if the victim appears to be unresponsive, the person trying to help should check for responsiveness or breathing. If the person is not breathing, someone should immediately call 911.

Bell did a step by step demonstration to show how to help a victim who is unresponsive.

“You want to place your hands right in between the nipples in the middle of the chest plate. Then, you want to use your palms and your bodyweight to push down,” Bell said during a demonstration. “You have to push down about two inches and then have to come all the way back up.”

Experts explained people doing CPR should keep an eye on speed and perform compressions around 100 beats per minute until paramedics arrive on scene.

People often use the tempo of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

At the Twin Cities Marathon back in 2019, Jesse Bueno, Minnesotan, gave CPR to a runner when he collapsed.

Bueno works in the medical field, but he says anyone can learn how to help.

“I think it’s very beneficial,” he said. “You never know when you’re going to need it. It could be at a grocery store. It could be at a race.”

A lesson that takes minutes could impact someone for a lifetime.

The American Red Cross has CPR classes open to the public both online and in person.

An Eagan certification company is also holding CPR classes free of charge. The next session is Feb. 23 at 11:30 a.m.