Free Sidewalk CPR: Big push on to instruct all in Hands-Only CPR

May 31, 2013
Santa Paula News

“Give us five minutes of your time and we’ll teach how to save a life,” said Santa Paula Memorial Hospital Nurse Pam Barnett, who will be on hand to show you how to give a hand at Tuesday’s free Hands-Only Sidewalk CPR class.

Continuous instruction, a partnership between Santa Paula Hospital/Ventura County Healthcare Agency, Santa Paula Fire Department and the American Heart Association, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside Vons, 576 W. Main Street. Said Barnett, “Santa Paula firefighters and hospital staff will be there to guide you through it, teach you how easy it is” to save a life using hands-only CPR.

This is the second year of the statewide life-saving instruction: in 2012 alone Santa Paula fire and hospital personnel instructed more people than anywhere else in Ventura County. The number of Santa Paulans who learned hands-only CPR last year, almost 800, was “phenomenal,” and Barnett said this year all the cities in the state will be offering instruction at the same time.

“It’s a big push,” no pun intended, that is meant to make sure everyone knows what to do for a person who has stopped breathing. Barnett said training “takes only five minutes, we’ll have mannequins for everyone and all ages are welcome... anyone can do the compressions, even an 8-year-old.” 

Hands-free CPR is remarkably easy, 100 compressions a minute that rescuers recommend be done in time to the Bee Gees famous hit, “Stayin’ Alive” that is perfect for the situation and to keep the CPR beat. “I’m trying to get it recorded so it can play in the background at the same time” as the instruction to help calculate the compression count.

Barnett noted that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is no longer used in CPR: “You don’t have to worry about catching anything or having more than one move to make... you just call 9-1-1 and start chest compressions. Come and join the fun!”

Not only will those interested in instruction learn how to respond appropriately if they witness someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, but participants will also receive information on where they can go if they want to become fully CPR certified.

Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Nearly 300,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. each year, and only 32 percent of the victims receive CPR from a layperson. 

Failure to act in a cardiac emergency results in unnecessary deaths. In fact, less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive, but when an effective bystander immediately administers CPR the chance of survival more than doubles. More than 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.

Introduced by the AMA in 2010, Hands-Only CPR is just as effective as traditional CPR at keeping cardiac arrest victims alive without suffering brain damage, and is a way for those untrained in full CPR to step up and help. For more information about the free Hands-Only CPR trainings, contact VCEMS at: (805) 981-5301, go to, or visit

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.