EMS: knowing how to do CPR is "extremely important" - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

EMS: knowing how to do CPR is "extremely important"

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EMS: knowing how to do CPR is "extremely important" EMS: knowing how to do CPR is "extremely important"
POST FALLS, Idaho - A Post Falls man was asked to perform CPR on his father late Tuesday night after he called 911 to say his dad had collapsed and was no longer breathing. Dispatchers with the Kootenai County Sheriff's office tell KHQ, callers are often called upon to perform lifesaving procedures while first responders are en route. Since the beginning of the year there have been more than 20 calls where those calling were asked to perform CPR. 

"The dispatchers are amazing at being able to calm the person down and walk them through how do to CPR," said Bill Keeley with Kootenai County EMS. "Even someone who has not been trained can be walked through CPR fairly easily." 

Keeley says CPR is extremely important, especially for those that are in cardiac arrest, one of only a few situations where 911 callers are asked to use CPR. He says the first five minutes are the most important to start CPR, if started as soon as possible the likelihood of recovery is nearly 100 percent. If five minutes have passed without CPR starting, the chance of recovery decreases by 10 percent every minute. Valuable time especially considering average EMS response is around five to six minutes. 

"Our longest response time is about 10 minutes to the furthest parts of the county and if CPR hasn't started, then we've decreased that person's chance of survival by about 80 percent," said Keeley. 

The man's father who collapsed on the floor in Post Falls, was breathing and conscious by the time first responders arrived on scene.

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