Dover city councilman to host free CPR class

DOVER — Brian Lewis decided to host a free CPR/AED and Basic First Aid Awareness class so that other people might be able to avoid the type of phone call that he received unexpectedly last year.

“Less than a year ago I received an alarming phone call regarding my mom who lived in Florida,” Mr. Lewis said. “The caller stated she went into sudden cardiac arrest and was being transported to an area hospital. As a result, she eventually lost her life.

“I believe if the person assisting her at the time she went into cardiac arrest knew CPR, (my) mom’s chances of survival would have increased.”

That gave Mr. Lewis, a Dover city councilman, the idea to host the CPR class at the Dover Police Department community room Thursday from 6 until 8. He thinks these are the types of skills that every person should be able to learn and know.

Dover City Councilman Brian Lewis will be hosting a free CPR and basic first aid class at the Dover Police Department community room on Thursday night from 6 until 8. (Submitted photo)

“As a Level 3 Instructor Trainer for the American Safety and Health Institute, I am a firm believer that some care is always preferred over a no-care option,” said Mr. Lewis. “Over 383,000 people per year suffer sudden cardiac arrest when they’re nowhere near a hospital. These folks are often not visibly sick people — a large number of victims are not aware of having heart disease and may not have any of the risk factors.”

The councilman added, “It just doesn’t happen to the guy down the street or our next-door neighbor, sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere and to anyone.”

Mr. Lewis and a pair of his colleagues from the Delaware Department of Correction will inform people how to respond should a medical emergency occur.

While Thursday night’s program will not be a certified course, the councilman said he can assist interested individuals who would like to receive certification in the future.

He said some topics that will be discussed include universal precautions, the Good Samaritan Law, recovery position, pressure bandage, burns, heat and cold emergencies in the “Knowing Basic First Aid” portion of the class.

It is the CPR portion of the class that is so personal to Mr. Lewis, especially after losing his mother last year.

“Evidence has shown that survival can improve with immediate bystander response with CPR and rapid defibrillation with an AED,” he said. “Because compression-only CPR is easier to teach, remember, and perform, it is preferred for ‘just-in-time’ teaching for untrained lay rescuers.

“The 2015 guidelines recommended that emergency dispatchers should provide compression-only CPR instructions to callers when responding to sudden cardiac arrest.”

It is Councilman Lewis’ hope that this course will pay off even if one life is saved as a result.

In addition to his coworkers, Mr. Lewis thanked the DOC for use of its equipment, the Dover Police Department for use of its community room and the Dover Fire Department for its support.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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