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Loomis Fire pumps up CPR training

Fire district offering free classes to residents starting July 17
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Loomis Fire Chief Dave Wheeler wants the residents of the fire protection district to add these words to their vocabulary: cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He also wants them to become proficient in CPR. That’s why, beginning July 17, the fire district will offer free cardiopulmonary resuscitation training to everyone, 12 years of age and older. “We’re ready to go public with our classes,” Wheeler said. Engineer Daniel Justus is the district’s emergency medical services program manager. “We’re trying to get everyone, the general public, in our district trained in CPR,” Justus said. The goal is to save lives due to cardiac arrest incidents, he said. Properly administered, CPR – a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest – can sustain a victim until professional emergency personnel arrive to take over. Justus said the fire district is absorbing the cost of the classes to better provide the community with citizen CPR. “This is our way of giving back to the community,” Justus said. “We’re paying for all the materials … so we can have more citizens trained in CPR … It’s only helping your neighbor out when you know CPR.” During the one-day class, which will run from approximately 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – depending on the number of trainees – will begin with a PowerPoint presentation that explains situations that can result in the need for performing CPR. “We’ll teach them how to assess people’s vital signs,” Justus said. Trainees will also learn the correct hand placement for chest compressions and skills to properly align airways. But it won’t be sit-and-watch training. Trainees will learn to perform CPR on child and adult mannequins the district has purchased. As in any other class, there will be written test at the end. “After they complete the class, they will get a CPR card that is good for two years,” Justus said. Loomis Fire personnel, he said, have been trained through the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in order to issue CPR certification. The certification is good only for a two-year span, Justus said, because “that way we can teach any new changes that have come to CPR … and it’s a good refresher for individuals who don’t done CPR” during that period. District resident needing to be recertified in CPR can also take the course. Justus has been with Loomis Fire for five years and has been CPR certified for six years. He said he has used the technique about 10 to 15 times. The first time, he said, he wasn’t nervous because he was with a whole engine company, with “a lot of guys who had experience so it went pretty smooth.” Shirley Koch, owner of Loomis Basin Equestrian Center, said she was in the Placer County Search & Rescue for several years, and has taken CPR courses a number of times. Her certificate is not current, so she was happy to hear about the class the district is offering. “I think it’s a good thing. If it’s at a time I can arrange, I’d be interested in doing it;,” she said. While the class and certification card are free, a CPR manual is available for purchase for those who want to take one home. To register for the upcoming class, call 652-6858 at fire station 28, located Magnolia Street and Horseshoe Bar Roads, near Taylor, where instruction will take place.Additional Saturday classes will be scheduled depending on community interest. --------------------- FREE CPR TRAINING When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, July 17 Where: Loomis Fire Station, Magnolia Street and Horseshoe Bar Road, near Taylor Open: 12 year-olds and up Cost: Free to Loomis Fire District residents To register: Call 652-6858