St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Wednesday that all city employees will undergo training in CPR and become certified.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans,” Kriseman said. “Eighty percent of cardiac events happen in the home or similar private setting. If a citizen nearby knows CPR, chances for survival for a cardiac arrest victim can double or even triple. Each of our city employees should be equipped to help save a life if necessary.”
St. Petersburg has been a leader in advocating and promoting heart health and safety. In 2002, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), mostly acquired from donated funds, were placed in city buildings, public pools, recreational centers and police vehicles.
Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, who spearheads the Healthy St. Pete initiative, said “Last month I lost my husband [Terry Tomalin] to an unexpected heart attack. Expert caregivers did all they could to save his life. And, although Terry didn’t make it, he had every advantage on his side. From the time he collapsed at Northshore Pool until his final breath at Bayfront Health, he was surrounded by experts who knew what to do for him. CPR gave me time to say goodbye. Learning CPR is a small individual commitment being made by each of our team members that could make a world of difference for someone in need. It is an ambitious, but worthwhile, endeavor that furthers our goal of creating a culture of health in St. Petersburg.”
Studies continue to stress the importance of CPR use and knowledge, specifically quality chest compressions in patient outcomes during cardiac arrest emergencies. Since 2007, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the National Safety Council have designated June 1-7 as National CPR-AED Awareness Week.
Click here to learn more about the proper CPR technique and heart health.