Posted June 1, 2012

Kingston, NY – Today, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein proclaimed the first week of June 2012 CPR and AED Awareness Week in Ulster County in order to encourage County residents to learn how to administer Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Knowing how to use CPR and an AED equips people with the ability to act quickly in a crisis and saves lives.

“Educating residents about the importance of knowing CPR and how to use an AED is an important step toward making Ulster County the healthiest county in New York State,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “By possessing this knowledge, residents hold thepower to save the life of a loved one.”

The American Heart Association’s mission is to reduce disability and death from acute circulatory and respiratory emergencies by improving the chain of survival in every community and in every health care system. According to the American Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. Fortunately, anyone can learn CPR and possess the capability of saving a life.

“The American Heart Association appreciates Ulster County’s leadership for making sure that CPR and AED awareness is at the forefront of people’s minds this week,” said Carolyn Torella, American Heart Association Regional Communications Director. “The American Heart Association hopes that all people learn CPR because 80% of cardiac arrests happen out of hospitals and the best outcome happens when CPR is provided by a bystander. If you see someone collapse, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of their chest.”

Prompt delivery of CPR can triple a victim’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest by helping maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain, and by increasing the amount of time in which an electric shock from a defibrillator may be effective. An AED is safe, easy to operate and highly effective in restoring a normal heart rhythm. CPR and AEDs are two of the most effectively and potentially life saving emergency procedures available today.

The American Heart Association offers courses. To help prepare to act in an emergency, watch a one minute video at www.Heart.org/HandsonCPR or sign up for a full CPR course at www.Heart.org/CPR. To learn more, visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG