“Hands Only” CPR Training by Sgt. Phillip Gingerella of the Charlestown Police Department

“Hands Only” CPR gives non-emergency personnel the skills needed to keep an adult who is not breathing alive until professionals arrive, and this revised American Heart Association training gives members of the community the confidence they need to act quickly and decisively in an emergency.  Sgt. Phillip Gingerella emphasizes the average adult has enough oxygen in his/her blood to keep them alive for 20 minutes and that in most situations, the emergency responders can get to that person before the more cumbersome breathing techniques are required.

Far less complicated and intimidating than what was taught in the past, the ‘Hands Only” CPR aims to make first aid skills more accessible to a wider audience and increase the number of community members able and willing to help in an emergency.  The message is that CPR training is for those over the age of 14; many adults and teens have the strength and presence of mind to administer “Hands Only” CPR successfully.  (Sgt. Gingerella notes that CPR training is now a graduation requirement and not just for lifeguards!) Calling 911 and beginning chest compressions, hard and fast, to the beat of the Bee Gees song, “Stayin’ Alive”  (http://youtube.com/I_izvAbhExY) hopefully will keep the person going until EMTs reach the scene.  Consider joining the ranks of Charlestown residents trained to make a difference in an emergency.  Trainees still hope they will never have to use this training, but they leave knowing they could act should they be called upon at the beach, the library, in their neighborhood, or in their own home.

Certified by the American Heart Association, Sgt. Gingerella offers both CPR training and recertification classes for members of the community at various locations throughout the year.  The classes are often held at the request of a community group and cost about $20 per person.  Sgt. Gingerella keeps a wait list so he can fill any open spaces in a class and has even held special trainings once the list reaches an optimum size.  To add your name, email Sgt. Gingerella at pgingerella@charlestownpolice.org, and indicate whether you have had CPR training in the past and the year…or approximate year.

A seasoned trainer, Sgt. Gingerella uses PowerPoint, videos, and dummies for hands-on practice for the chest compressions.  He demonstrates the Heimlich maneuver, procedures for infant choking and CPR, and the use of AEDs, especially the neon green Zoll Plus used in many civic buildings in Charlestown. He welcomes questions from the uninitiated and is warm and welcoming to all.  Again, for more information, email Sgt. Gingerella at pgingerella@charlestownpolice.org.