AVON, Conn. (WTNH) — Seconds count in the moments after cardiac arrest.
And while the world watched that come into play when Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field last week, CPR also saves lives across the nation daily.
Larry Friel, of Avon, is one of those tales.
“Every piece of life is beautiful,” he said. “It truly is.”
Friel was out to dinner in Farmington last November when his life was saved.
“I had lost my pulse, my heartbeat,” he said.
Jill Irwin, a dental hygienist who learned CPR years earlier, jumped in to help — saving his life.
“I was totally indebted to her,” Friel said. “I’ll always be indebted to her.”
Richard Shok, who owns Code One Training Solutions, has seen more people ask to learn CPR in the days since Hamlin’s collapse and subsequent recovery.
“It’s really phenomenal that we have gotten such an influx of interest,” he said.
If someone isn’t breathing or responding, try to wake them up. If there is no response, assign someone to call 911 and get an AED if one is nearby.
“We’re going to interlock our fingers, we’re going to draw an invisible line between the nipples, and we’re going to be pushing down two inches at a beat of 100 to 120 compressions per minute, which is the same beat as ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and ‘Baby Shark,’ you take your pick,” Shok said.
Keep going until either help or the AED arrives. The AED device will explain what to do. If a shock is needed, the AED will say to push the red button.
Training is available annually, including by organizations like the American Red Cross. Classes are offered virtually, in person, and as a hybrid.