LO kids flock to hear rescue workers give lessons on lifesaving

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: CYDNY FLETCHER - Madalyn Boscacci practices CPR techniques under the expert guidance of LOPD Officer Denton Veatch and Emily Liu, assistant coordinator of the Lake Oswego Youth and Teen Program.

Lake Oswego has a CPR lifesaving rate that is much higher than the rest of the USA.

But that figure is not nearly high enough for the men and women responsible for emergency response in this city. Because of this view they are helping to train various groups all over Lake Oswego in CPR. Even some of the youngest people in the community.

That is why a bunch of children, some as young as 6 years old, filled a conference room at the West End Building Saturday for a training session offered by the local police and fire departments and sponsored by the Lake Oswego Youth and Teen Program. Because even a kid can save a life if he or she has the training.

“Lake Oswego already has a CPR save rate that is five times the national rate,” said LOPD Capt. Dale Jorgensen, who served as class moderator. “The nationwide rate is 5 to 6 percent and it’s 28 percent in Lake Oswego. But we want to go higher. It is awesome you are all here.”

The chances of the rate going higher look excellent with a roomful of kids and their parents, all eager to hear information and to practice CPR techniques. The moms and dads were all on board.

“I think you are never too young to learn this,” said Tara Reddy, who brought her young daughter Vidia. “It’s important we learn how to help people in these situations.”

“It doesn’t matter how small you are. It’s really important to learn basic CPR,” said Megan Boscacci, who brought both of her children to the event.

The CPR procedures were simple but they required lots of energy and focus.

“It isn’t as hard as it looks,” said Vinnie Jones, who apparently was recruited off the mean streets of London to appear in a video prior to the practice.

Practicing CPR on a fallen victim involves locking your shoulders, pressing straight down on the chest, right on the sternum, and continuing to press and push until someone comes along to relieve you.

First of all, though, call 9-1-1.

Still, there are some hazards involved. Pressing hard and often on the chest of an unconscious person might result in breaking some ribs. However, the firefighters pointed out that it’s better to break some ribs than for a victim to die.

There are also chances that a victim will suddenly vomit. In this case, the person giving CPR is advised to look away and keep pushing.

And there is always the chance that the worst will happen and the person who suffered the attack will lose his or her life. Even with Lake Oswego’s remarkable CPR success rate, more than 70 percent of the victims still lose their lives.

“You’re not going to save everybody,” said LOPD Officer Denton Veatch. “That’s not going to happen. Just go as long as you can.”

Cydny Fletcher, coordinator for the Lake Oswego Teen and Youth Program, observed the session and pronounced it a big success.

“This class was aimed at kids,” Fletcher said. “This one turned out a lot better than the session we had for the Youth Action Council. There were so many kids here.”

Everyone left the class confident they could help someone who had suffered a heart attack.

“My daughter Madalyn learned a lot today,” Boscacci said. “Now she can save a life. She can save my life.”

Future CPR training classes are scheduled for June 28 during the Lake Oswego Farmers Market under the green canopy on the elevated stage; July 23 at Foothills Park at 6:30 p.m. next to the pergola; and Aug. 13 during the Public Safety Fair at Westlake Park at 6:30 p.m.

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