FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 14, 2022
County Leon County’s Press the Chest Trains Hundreds in CPR
The event returned in person after two years of being held virtually
Today, Leon County hosted its tenth annual Press the Chest event, the first in-person event of its kind since the pandemic, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center with the goal of providing the community with the skills, knowledge and confidence to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The event was attended by hundreds of residents of all ages who were trained in proper CPR techniques and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) usage.
“Thanks to events like Press the Chest, Leon County’s cardiac survival rate is significantly higher than the national average, which just goes to show how the community can help one another with proper education,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor.
Since 2010, Leon County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has trained more than 15,000 residents with hands-on instruction on how to do CPR correctly. County events like Press the Chest contribute to Leon County’s cardiac survival rate of 58%, which far exceeds the national average of 18%, and support the County’s strategic initiative to increase the number of citizens trained in CPR and AED usage.
“Press the Chest is one of the County’s best examples of our ongoing commitment to the well-being of our community,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “This important event demonstrates the County’s continued support of public health and education.”
Leon County EMS personnel taught life-saving recommendations made by the American Heart Association, including C-A-B (Compressions-Airway-Breathing) along with the new emphasis on “Hands-Only CPR.” Participants were also trained on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), which are used to help revive someone after sudden cardiac arrest. Currently, there are more than 1,200 public access AEDs in the community registered with EMS.
“Press the Chest holds a special place in our hearts,” said Community Engagement Director for Leon County EMS Major Sally Davis. “Not only do we get to connect with the community, but we also connect with survivors of cardiac arrest and get to hear their stories of bystander intervention. It really makes a difference.”
This year’s Press the Chest event was hosted in collaboration with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, HCA Florida Capital Hospital, Florida Department of Health-Leon County, Tallahassee Community College EMS Program, Florida A&M University Student Health Services, Tallahassee Fire Department, Premier Health and Fitness, Health Science Consulting, Who We Play For, Safe Kids of the Big Bend, Capital Area Healthy Start, Consolidated Dispatch Agency, Simply Health Care Plans, Inc., and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capital Police.
“Without CPR, I would not be here today,” said area resident and cardiac arrest survivor Russ Marsh. “I am proud that the County has made it a priority to train our community in a skill that can save someone’s life, like it did mine.”
For more information, contact EMS Maj. Sally Davis, Leon County Emergency Medical Services, at (850) 606-2100 / DavisSal@LeonCountyFL.gov or Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / CMR@LeonCountyFL.gov .
About Leon County EMS
Launched in December 2003, Leon County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), a department of Leon County Government, has provided the highest quality emergency care available and continues to enhance this vital community service. Nationally accredited and recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, EMS provides clinically superior, cost-effective emergency medical services and transport to the citizens and visitors of Leon County. Stay up to date with all things EMS by liking or following EMS on Facebook.
Caption: Press the Chest 2022 attendees practice CPR techniques taught by Leon County EMS staff.
Caption: Leon County EMS staff providing instruction on CPR techniques to Press the Chest 2022 attendees.