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'Sidewalk CPR' Teaches Lifesaving Techniques

The Hermosa Beach Fire Department taught hands-only CPR during "Sidewalk CPR" day.

Hermosa Beach firefighters taught a new hands-only CPR technique to Hermosa residents outside the city's fire station Thursday in conjunction with a countywide "Sidewalk CPR" day. 

The new technique, which firefighters said is a "lay person's CPR," emphasizes basic chest compressions that can be used to save a victim during cardiac arrest.  

The new hands-only technique teaches participants to first call 911 and then perform chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute, or, roughly the same tempo as the song "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees.

Firefighters said that traditional CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques are often too intimidating for the average person which can cause inaction during an emergency.

"They don't want to do anything detrimental so they don't do anything," said Hermosa firefighter and paramedic Carlos Lopez. "The last thing we want to do for anyone during cardiac arrest is to do nothing at all... Compressions are better than nothing and it does help," he said.

According to the American Heart Association, who is promoting the simplified technique, CPR can more than double a person's chances of survival.

An additional benefit of the simplified CPR method is that even young children can learn and remember the technique. 

"I am glad [kids] can come in and do it because they are encouraged," said Lopez.  "If your mom falls, your dad falls, your grandma-- you can do this too," he tells young students.

Those wanting more information on hands-only CPR, including instructional videos, can visit the American Heart Association's website.

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