Naperville Senior Task Force holds CPR classes for seniors

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Two CPR classes for seniors were held this week by the Naperville Senior Task force in conjunction with The Naperville Fire Department.

Cardiac arrest claims the lives of 436,000 Americans each year. According to the American Heart Association, just 10% of those who go through cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive. The difference between life and death could be you, as CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

“So if someone goes down in front of you, we might not be there right away,” said Naperville firefighter, Daryl MacDonald. “We might be a couple of minutes away, might be five, six, seven, eight minutes away. And if that person doesn’t get any CPR, that person’s chance of survival is very, very low. So doing something is better than doing nothing.”

CPR classes for seniors

With that thought in mind, the Naperville Senior Task Force and Naperville Fire Department held two CPR classes for seniors on Wednesday. The class is part of the task force’s ongoing “Silver CPR” program. The program originated before the pandemic, but these classes were the first held since the relaxing of pandemic protocols.

48 Naperville area seniors were in attendance across the two classes. They learned about the many practices when it comes to CPR, the use of an AED, and how to prevent choking.

When it comes to conducting CPR, MacDonald says there’s one major takeaway everyone should know.

“So the biggest thing, if you don’t know if someone’s breathing, you can’t tell, not sure. Start pushing on their chest hard and fast around the middle of their chest. That’s all we really want to concentrate on, everything else we’ll figure it out later. All I know is I’ve got someone who’s not breathing, and they need CPR.”

How you can become CPR certified

Throughout the year, the city of Naperville and the Naperville Fire Department hold general public CPR classes. High school students in Illinois, also are required to take a CPR class once prior to graduating.

Whether a teenager, a senior citizen, or anything in between, experts say becoming CPR-certified can truly make a difference. Everyone’s physical capabilities are different, but your best effort is what truly matters.

“Maybe some people here today had a bad wrist, a bad shoulder,” said MacDonald. “If I can only push on the heart 10%, that’s better than 0%. So that’s what we’re emphasizing, doing something, getting involved versus standing back to do nothing, that’s not what we want.

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