AHA Volunteer’s Students Save Three Lives in One Day Using HOCPR

This month, the CPR & First Aid Blog catches up with Jon Gorman, RN, member of the New England ECC Regional Committee board and 25-year healthcare veteran. 

Jon Gorman sets up for a community CPR demonstration.

Jon, thank you so much for speaking with us today. Would you give us a brief summary of your background?

Sure… I am an RN with a history of working in open heart, telemetry, and ICU settings. I work with Harrington Healthcare System in Central Massachusetts.

How did you come to work with the New England ECC Regional Committee?

When I was in school, I experienced a pretty traumatic incident: my father suffered massive cardiac arrest and came in to the emergency room as a patient while I was working my shift. My poor mother had found him at home in the chair and called 911, but sadly he was gone before he arrived at the hospital. The ordeal gave me a real motivation to not want this to happen to anyone else.

That’s when I signed on to be a Hands-Only CPR volunteer trainer with ECC. I wanted to help save lives both inside and outside of the hospital.

Talk to me about Hands-Only CPR. How is it different than other CPR methods? Is it something anyone can do?

Hands-Only CPR is the kind of CPR, focusing on chest compressions, that we see in the movies and on TV. It is what most of us know to do until EMS arrives, and it dramatically increases the chances of someone will survive. However, training in conventional CPR is important so that people are confident and get it right when it matters.

Tell us about your “Big E Fair” event. I hear that it was an extraordinary day. 

It’s never too early to learn CPR. Here, Jon Gorman instructs two children on HOCPR.

It really was. We hosted a tent at the Massachusetts Day celebration, and as people came by we introduced them to Hands-Only CPR. We tried to make it something quick and easy that people shouldn’t be afraid of. We had manikins for people to practice on, and wound up training more than 750 people that day. It was a long day!

What was so incredible though was what happened after. We got a call informing us that three different people at the event had gone into cardiac arrest on-site. When the EMS arrived at each of those three scenes, members of the public were there with the victims doing chest compressions. Incredibly, people who had been by our tent and learned chest compressions were able to put their skills to use to save a life that very same day. It gives me goosebumps.

That’s incredible! It really drives home the importance of not only learning these skills, but probably refreshing them from time to time.

Absolutely. If you can take a class, that’s great. You should. But even the free demonstrations at your local health fair can be enough to save a life.

Great tip. Thank you so much Jon for sharing your time and insights with the CPR & First Aid Blog.

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