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South Valley Journal

“Push to Survive” a Simple Life-Saving Skill

Jun 14, 2016 10:51AM ● By Briana Kelley

“Push to Survive” was taught to council members on May 3. Firefighters will teach the public this lifesaving program during five open house nights in June. Photo courtesy of ©Riverton City Communications.

By Briana Kelley | [email protected]

Unified Fire Authority (UFA) is on a mission to save more lives, and it is turning to residents to do so. 

The “Push to Survive” program teaches residents to call 911 and begin hands-only chest compressions until help arrives. Officers from the search and rescue department educated Riverton council members and residents on the program at the May 3 council meeting.

“This is a fantastic program,” Riverton UFA Chief Mike White said. “We have seen great results in the past few years. They’re amazing statistics.”

UFA will provide residents this free hands-only CPR training at a fire station open house in June. Fire Station 121, located at 4146 West 12600 South in Riverton, will be open from 6–7 p.m. on June 1, 7, 13, 20 and 25. Officers hope that residents will attend and learn this lifesaving skill as well as get to know the firefighters in their community.

“First and foremost, residents will learn a critical, easy-to-learn, easy-to-remember, lifesaving skill: hands-only CPR,” E.J. Hinterman said. Hinterman is a medical trained specialist with UFA who has spearheaded “Push to Survive” and other programs. “Secondly, residents can meet and visit with their local firefighters and meet the guys that are spending time away from their families so other families are safer.”

“Push to Survive” is a three-step process that officers have called the 3 C’s: Check, Call and Compressions. If an individual witnesses someone in need of medical attention, he or she should first check the person to see if they are conscious and breathing normally. If not, he or she should call 911 immediately. 

The average response time according to Hinterman is 6–8 minutes. Every minute diminishes survival by 10 percent if the chest is not compressed. Without bystander CPR being performed, 92 percent of cardiac arrest victims will not survive; with proper hands-only CPR and modern standards of care, 50 percent of these victims can survive and return to a normal life, according to a UFA statement.

Councilmember Brent Johnson shared an emotional personal experience on the importance of learning “Push to Survive.”

“I was 14 years old. I had just received my lifesaving merit badge,” he said. “Our family went on a vacation to California. I was minding my own business and I went out to the pool where there was a young boy in that pool. Because of the instruction I had received, I successfully revived this young boy. Every time I see this video it brings back a memory that could have been horrible for me. I was a young man on vacation, enjoying it with my family when the lifesaving instruction I received changed a young boy’s life. I don’t know what that young man became, but I know how this changed me.” 

“Push to Survive” will be taught on an ongoing rotation at the station during the open house hours. Officers welcome those to stop by, spend 10 minutes learning how to save a life and get to know the firefighters. You can stop by any time during the open house and take the class. We look forward to meeting you and need your help when tragedy strikes,” the UFA statement said.

“Our city has the quickest response time of most cities in the valley,” Mayor Bill Applegarth said. Our response time is excellent. Think what we can do if all of us will take this seriously. I hope that you will make time to attend one of the five days that they are offering.” Mayor Bill Applegarth added.

Those who cannot attend or would like to re-learn these skills can watch the training at home on UFA’s website.