In the case of cardiac arrest, seconds can contribute to someone’s fate.
“The lay person that comes upon the victim during a cardiac arrest is the bridge between life and death,” said Bend Fire and Rescue volunteer Larry Bryant.
Bryant knows all this first hand, experiencing a cardiac arrest in 2017 while with his girlfriend.
“I keeled over in her living room. Fell down like a bookcase,” Bryant said. “Made a lot of racket and was totally unresponsive.”
Lucky for Larry, his girlfriend knew CPR.
“But also knew to call 911 immediately and get the ball rolling, and the dispatcher talked her through doing compression-only CPR,” Bryant said.
Ever since his near-death experience, Larry has volunteered his time teaching CPR classes.
Wednesday night, about a dozen people showed up for a free CPR and Stop the Bleed class.
“I wanted to update safety and take care,” class attendee Frank Carly. “I have four grandsons, and they are all really active, and I am not a spring chicken.”
The non-certified course teaches hands-on life-saving techniques.
“It is so important that we get the public’s help in these emergencies because the public can intervene very early, and the chances of that person going home is greatly increased with the public’s help,” said Bend Fire and Rescue Captain Peter Hossick.
The courses are on the first Wednesday of every month for ages 12 and up.
“Bend’s survival rate is extremely high, in the 70% range, where nationally, it’s only 10%, 20% at best,” said Bryant. “This is a good community because of the combined efforts of EMS, police, and the individuals.”