By Leslie Hynes, Fire District 1 Public Information Officer.
Snohomish County Fire District 1 will be participating in American Heart Month by encouraging citizens to learn more about heart disease and the lifesaving skill of CPR.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Fire District 1 was honored for having the highest cardiac arrest save rate in the county last year.
“We want to save more lives by increasing citizen awareness of heart disease – the risk factors, warning signs and prevention – and by training more citizens in the lifesaving skill of CPR,” said Deputy Chief Shaughn Maxwell, head of Fire District 1 Emergency and Community Health Services.
He encouraged citizens to make heart health a priority during February by taking these steps:
Learn CPR: “We know effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest significantly increases a victim’s chance of survival. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to learn this lifesaving skill,” Maxwell said.
Fire District 1 is offering two training opportunities for the public this month:
- CPR, first aid and AED certification class, Feb. 13: This class taught by firefighters includes a two-year certification in adult, child and infant CPR. The class meets from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fire District 1 Headquarters, 12425 Meridian Ave. S., Everett. The cost is $70. Registration information is available at www.firedistrict1.org.
- CPR To Go, Feb. 16: Fire District 1’s new program takes training on the road and teaches hands-only CPR in about 10 minutes. The first CPR To Go training will be offered Feb. 16 during the Seniors on the Move fundraiser at Red Onion Burgers, 21005 44th Ave. W, Mountlake Terrace. This free hands-on training will be available between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. No registration is necessary, just drop in.
During Heart Month, Fire District 1 will also be providing CPR training to staff and members of the Edmonds Senior Center and to health students at Madrona K-8 School in Edmonds.
Make heart healthy changes: Making healthy changes can lower the risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get active and eat healthy.
Know the warning signs: Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly with mild discomfort or pain. Even if you aren’t sure what’s happening, call 911 and get checked out. Signs include:
- Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other parts of the upper body: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath: May occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs: Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Fire District 1 is the largest provider of fire and emergency medical services in Snohomish County, with full-time staffing at 12 fire stations. The department serves nearly 200,000 residents in unincorporated south Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace.