For Immediate Release
Program aims to make Springfield safest city for heart attack survival
When Dale Moore headed to a Missouri State University football game one afternoon last October, he never dreamed he would save a life.
Thanks to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, he knew exactly what to do when he saw a spectator collapse and become unresponsive. Emergency responders say if Moore had not begun CPR immediately, the man likely would have died.
Moore, the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management public information officer, is one of the City of Springfield's nearly 2,000 employees who are CPR certified and trained in the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs).
Through a new initiative, called "Springfield LifeSave" the City has reached the goal of training and certifying 100% percent of its employees, in a move designed to inspire others in the community to get their employees certified in the life-saving skills.
The City's Leadership Team set a goal of having 50 percent of its employees CPR certified by the end of 2012 and the remaining 50 percent trained during 2013.
"We have employees located throughout the community every day of the year. Giving them the knowledge to know what to do when faced with an emergency is something we felt was important," said City Manager Greg Burris. "Obviously, our employees felt strongly about this as well."
Now the City is asking other organizations and businesses to join the initiative. With the help of numerous partners including American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Ozarks Technical Community College, Safety Council of the Ozarks, Mercy, CoxHealth and others, the goal of "Springfield LifeSave" is to train 45,000 people in compression-only CPR, double the number of AEDs in the community and have 100 businesses and organizations commit to the "50/50 Challenge."
Businesses and organization that take the "50/50 Challenge" commit to certifying 50% of the workforce or 50 employees (whichever is the smaller number). Those who do will be designated as a "Springfield LifeSave" organization. Those who also purchase an AED will be designated as a "Springfield LifeSave Plus" organization.
"We want to make Springfield safer for those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, which is the leading cause of death in Greene County, and is preventable through the prompt action of bystander CPR and early defibrillation," explained Fire Chief David Hall.
Hall points out that for every minute a person is in cardiac arrest, their chances of surviving decreases 10%. CPR prolongs this "10% per minute" rule.
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Big Whiskey's, Nesbitt Construction and Sumits Yoga are the first Springfield businesses to take the challenge. When they are successful, their businesses will be formally recognized by City Council and their names will be included on a "Springfield LifeSave" recognition wall located in Historic City Hall. They will also receive a window cling to post prominently in their business, designating them as a "Springfield LifeSave Safe Spot."
The City challenges every citizen to learn CPR. For more information on how you can be certified, or to sign up your organization for the Springfield LifeSave 50/50 Challenge, visit SpringfieldLifeSave.Org, or contact Cara Erwin at 417-864-1500.