Local hero's actions highlight CPR, AED training need - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Local hero's actions highlight CPR, AED training need

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Kathy Scruggs, American Red Cross Kathy Scruggs, American Red Cross

A local hero's actions have called attention to the need for Automatic External Defibrillators and CPR training. 

Off-duty Birmingham Firefighter, Rob Trautwein, helped save a Trussville man's life in January, after he slammed into Trautwein's car.

Trautwein was honored for his actions Tuesday at the Birmingham City Council meeting.  

Jack Martin became unconscious after suffering a form of cardiac arrest, known as ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation. 

Trautwein was able to save Martin's life by using a nearby AED, and performing CPR. 

Kathy Scruggs, with the American Red Cross says the incident calls attention to the need for training. 

The Red Cross reports survival rates cline from 5 -70 percent "when an organization has a trained response team and an AED is available within the first 4 minutes after a cardiac arrest." 

Each year, as many as 350,000 people experience a sudden cardiac arrest. 7,000 of those patients are children, according to the Red Cross. 

Scruggs reports CPR alone is often insufficient to save someone's life. "One thing that a lot of people don't understand is that when someone's heart stops, it's an electrical problem," Scruggs says. "People think it's a heart attack... that's only about half the time." 

While AED's are "automated," which means they give verbal instructions, training can make a big difference in effective use.  "It gives you the confidence to respond and say, hey, I could help this person," Scruggs explained. 

Click here to sign up for an American Red Cross demonstration or training session.

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