The Hinesville Fire Department offers cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first-aid classes that lead to certification by the American Heart Association, said senior firefighter and CPR instructor Graham Martin.
Graham said HFD also offers a CPR refresher class for health-care providers needing to recertify or wanting to learn the newest information. There’s a pediatric CPR/first-aid class for anyone going into day-care professions and babysitting training for emergencies for students 11-16 years old.
He said classes are usually taught from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays at HFD station 2, 640 Airport Road. Classes are open to anyone age 16 years and older, with most classes costing $20.
The babysitting for emergencies class is $15.
HFD administrative officer Wendy Bruce said classes are subject to cancellation if fewer than five people sign up. Graham said the CPR certification is good for two years.
Most of the firefighters at Hinesville Fire Department have a lot of experience as firemen and emergency medical personnel, Graham said. Not all HFD firemen are emergency medical technician or paramedic qualified, but every fireman is certified by the AHA.
“On our shift, the newest guy has been here five years,” Graham said. “There are a couple new guys on the other shift that have been with us less than a year, but we all have a lot of experience, a lot of training ... There’s always new information out there, new standards to learn. We go through a lot of training before we teach classes to members of the community.”
He said what’s taught in each class depends on the class and the group being trained. Most classes are supported by a video presentation that students watch in short segments. At the end of each segment, the instructor leads a group discussion, which can include hands-on training.
A recent change in CPR training, Graham said, is the number of chest compressions per mouth-to-mouth breaths. He said it has changed from 15 pumps to one breath to 30 pumps to one breath. He said the AHA now teaches that people who are untrained in CPR should do about 100 uninterrupted chest compressions per minute until a qualified paramedic arrives. This completely leaves out mouth-to-mouth.
Graham said the act of pushing down on the chest compresses the lungs and allows for air to re-enter the lungs between pumps.
Even though there’s no required test to pass before earning certification, he said instructors have ways of ensuring all students understand the material that’s covered in the class.
Bruce said the next CPR/first aid certification class is scheduled for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at HFD station 2. The $20 registration fee must be paid by July 16.
For more information, call 876-4143.