The City of Santa Clarita has become the first City municipality in Los Angeles County to infuse CPR Anytime into its youth activities beginning with 100 kids from their Junior Lifeguard program. On June 27, Fire Captain Mickey Schaffer and crew from Fire Station 104 spent time with the 8- 14-year-olds at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center teaching CPR Anytime.
In the morning session of the program, Medical Director Doctor Franklin Pratt, Sylvia Beanes from the American Heart Association and Mayor Frank Ferry helped the kids understand that they could make a difference and showed them how simple it was to perform the compressions.
The teaching session provided an opportunity for the junior lifeguards to ask questions beyond CPR including quizzing Pratt about his "scariest" experience working in the emergency room. "I tend to bond with my patients," said Pratt. "I am human and if I think your life is in danger it can be upsetting and I work really hard to do what I can to save you."
Schaffer explained to the kids how lack of oxygen affects the brain and the heart, shared how the 9-1-1 dispatch system works and then got right down on the floor and demonstrated the compressions only technique.
"We are thrilled the City believes in the value of this program," said Assistant Chief Bill Niccum. "The kids see that the firefighters believe they can make a difference and it gives them the confidence to learn and take the program home to their families."