Learning the Beat of Life at Press the Chest IX

Jun 10, 2019

Leon County's cardiac victims have one of the nation's highest survival rates. Local emergency officials are crediting the large number of civilians who know CPR.

The Civic Center's exhibition hall was full of CPR trainees during the Press the Chest event.
Credit Tom Flanigan

Hundreds more were getting that training on Saturday, June 8 during the 9th Annual Press the Chest event at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Tallahassee Memorial Emergency Room Doctor Colby Redfield said it's truly life-saving knowledge.

"When you start CPR before EMS arrives, there's a 50 percent increase in survival," he noted. "That's a huge difference and it's nice to see our community coming out today to help with that process for us."

Leon County EMS Chief Chad Abrams said it's one reason Leon's cardiac surival rate is 41%, more than twice the national rate.

"This is part of our overall strategy of how to improve outcomes and impact the health of our community," he said. "The more people that know CPR, the more automated defibrillators that are out in the community and the more integration that we have with that, the better the chances are you're going to survive."

Participants learned several techniques to restart breathing and heart functions, such as timing chest compressions to the tempo of the song "Uptown Funk."