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Hundreds learn lifesaving techniques at Leon County's Press the Chest event

Dozens of people practice CPR on practice dummies.
Leon County EMS
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Press the Chest attendees received hands-on chest compression practice

Leon County’s yearly cardiopulmonary resuscitation mass training exercise returned to the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center Saturday.

The happening went virtual over the past two years because of COVID. And Leon County EMS Medical Director Dr. Kim Landry said the pandemic also boosted the need for civilian CPR. That’s because so many people were afraid to go to the hospital.

“It did in fact cause a lot of people to experience cardiac arrest in the home environment. It kept us busy for quite some time.”

And that meant more people appreciating the need for CPR training. Saturday’s Press the Chest attracted a lot of families. And County EMS Chief Chad Abrams praised those folks for their selfless spirit.

“It’s one of those things. You don’t come here to learn something that will help you; you’re only learning something that will help someone else.”

About 15,000 people have received CPR and cardiac defibrillator training since Leon County started hosting Press the Chest events in 2010. Leon County’s cardiac arrest survival rate is now almost 60%. The national rate is less than 20%.