“Sidewalk CPR” Pop-up Training at Paseo Colorado Proves the Life-Saving Technique is Easy to Learn

CPR Training Offered at Paseo Colorado for National Sidewalk CPR DayCPR Training Offered at Paseo Colorado for National Sidewalk CPR DayCPR Training Offered at Paseo Colorado for National Sidewalk CPR DayCPR Training Offered at Paseo Colorado for National Sidewalk CPR Day

Story and Photography by BRANDON VILLALOVOS

8:33 pm | June 2, 2016


Huntington Hospital staff and Pasadena firefighters took over the Paseo Colorado main courtyard on Thursday, setting up tables with inflatable dolls to teach shoppers how to do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in less than five minutes.

The annual “Sidewalk CPR” pop-up training event was sponsored by the American Heart Association and was Pasadena’s fifth time extending their efforts to educate the public.

“People are afraid to do CPR even when we know it’s proven to increase survival by fifty percent,” said Pasadena Fire Captain Mike Barilla. “Our goal is to ease people into the idea that CPR is actually quite easy.”

The main courtyard at Paseo Colorado was the scene as volunteers used inflatable CPR training dolls equipped with a built in clicker mechanism to indicate when a participant correctly compressed the chest.

Anyone and everyone from the public was encouraged to take five minutes of their time to learn how to save a life, which was a hard proposition for strangers to pass up and resulted in a high turnout.

This demonstration had one main difference than what most people are used to: no mouth to mouth resuscitation was required. This new proven method was expected to hopefully interest more people in learning the techniques.

“Studies show that performing proper chest compressions alone yields the same results that traditional CPR was thought to do. It’s not the long, complex and time consuming course that people used to have to take.,” explained Jennifer Waldron, Huntington Hospital’s Disaster Program Manager.

The energetic staff and firefighters made sure that learning the proper chest compression techniques were done to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” that was blasting through the sound system. This allowed participants to feel the quick rhythm required to effectively treat a victim of cardiac arrest for a minimum of sixty seconds at best.

According to Huntington Hospital’s Pre-Hospital Care Coordinator Jenny Vanslyke,performing chest compressions alone can double or even triple a person’s chance of being revived in a cardiac situation.

“When only ten percent of cardiac arrests survive today — it’s a huge improvement,” said Vanslyke.

“Sidewalk CPR” is a nationwide event that is sponsored by the American Heart Association. Los Angeles County organizations from all over participated in the hands on public training just like the one at Paseo Colorado.

“It’s happening all over Los Angeles County today so most fire departments, hospitals and clinics are participating,” said Vanslyke.

Los Angeles County aims to reach out to a wide demographic to ensure people have the necessary skills to save one’s life, which is more times than not someone they know and care about.

The eventual goal is to re-introduce this training into schools to properly equip the youth with life saving skills that will stay with them throughout their lives.

“About eighty percent of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home so for many people it’s usually a loved one’s life you’re saving. Teaching people when they’re young makes a big difference, but it’s never too late to learn,” said Waldron.

If you find someone who is in a cardiac arrest call 911 and immediately begin to perform chest compressions until first responders arrive.

To learn more information about CPR and to find a training center near you, visit www.heart.org.