Paramedics, firefighters give Hooksett middle schoolers lessons in lifesaving techniques
HOOKSETT — For the last several years, Hooksett firefighters and paramedics have visited each of the town’s schools to educate students of all ages on life-saving techniques and emergency services.
This year, they decided to take the initiative a step further by engaging seventh-grade students at Cawley Middle School with a hands-on, hands-only CPR presentation.
“We try to make it so it’s a little relaxed and fun, but also so they learn something,” said Hooksett EMS Capt. Daniel Pesula. “We teach them about hands-only CPR and also show them how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator), and then toward the end we put it all together and present a scenario where say, you’re at a soccer game and you come across someone who is on the ground (undergoing a traumatic event). You’re the only one around who knows what to do, so you have one friend start CPR, you have someone call 911 and then you have someone else set to use the AED, so it’s very similar to what we do, but in a simpler form.”
Pesula explained that it typically takes the average fire department four to six minutes to arrive at an emergency situation. Without receiving CPR during that time, the American Heart Association reports the chances of survival are reduced by 10 percent a minute.
“By more people learning hands-only CPR, more people will have a chance at survival,” he said.
In addition to the middle school demonstrations, Pesula said Hooksett EMS personnel were at Fred C. Underhill Elementary School Monday, presenting similar techniques on a teddy bear.
“We also show them the back of an ambulance, so they’ll be more comfortable if they ever have to take a ride in one,” he said.
“Essentially it’s to show that age group that an ambulance can be comfortable, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a scary place for them.”