The Chatham Emergency Squad has announced a new program to provide free annual CPR and AED training to nearly 1,000 public employees and volunteers in Chatham Borough and Chatham Township.
The initiative aims to improve the outcomes for patients who suffer cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in the country, according to an announcement about the program.
The organizations covered by the training initiative include the two police departments, three fire departments, two public works departments, eight public schools (including nurses, coaches and teachers), the Chatham Board of Recreation coaches, municipal employees, and Chatham Emergency Squad members.
To meet the demand, the squad has added to its cadre of CPR trainers certified to the standards of the American Heart Association. The eight trainers are squad members trained by Atlantic Training.
"Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, anywhere—at home, at work, at play, while driving, or while shopping," the squad said in a news release. "This program vastly increases both the numbers and the readiness of potential CPR providers, enhancing the chances that someone in Chatham who suffers cardiac arrest will be immediately treated by a bystander, immeasurably increasing the chances of a favorable outcome."
The squad said the only real chance of survival for individuals who suffer cardiac arrest is early CPR and use of an automatic external defibrillator. CPR and defibrillation should be within 6 minutes of cardiac arrest, after which the chance of survival without lasting physical or mental deficits rapidly diminishes, according to the news release.
The program is limited to members of the specified organizations, but other residents who want to learn CPR/AED can do so through the Atlantic Training Center: 908-522-2323.