Teaching Others to Save Lives

Lacy DeQuattro, NorthBay Healthcare Simulation Lab program coordinator, is not content with training mere hundreds of NorthBay Healthcare employees in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); her mission is to reach out and blanket the community as well.

Top: Jennifer Duncan, R.N., a clinical nurse II with NorthBay Healthcare, takes a test on her CPR skills.Bottom: James Parmer, R.N., a clinical nurse II with NorthBay Healthcare, runs through CPR information with Sandy Piedra, R.N., director of emergency services for NorthBay during a recent skills testing session.

That’s why you might find her at a local Girl Scout Troop meeting, or at the Vacaville CreekWalk, demonstrating her skills. She hosts a booth at health fairs, has been a regular guest speaker at the Fairfield Public Safety Academy, and offers monthly training and refresher courses for local volunteer fire departments.

Why train members of the public? “The public is first in the chain of survival,” said Lacy. “They can start CPR and call 911. If they get trained, statistics show that survival rates go up significantly.

“That’s important to understand,” she continued, “because during a major disaster, emergency professionals may be unavailable. Knowing how to save someone is very important in that situation. You never know when and where something may happen, and when it does, there may not be an emergency responder around. Maybe you are out camping, or at a baseball game and minutes matter, so giving quality (chest) compressions is important.”

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the training you took years ago is enough, she warned. “It’s important to refresh your skills because the American Heart Association comes up with updates and improvements constantly and things may have changed,” she said. “It’s hard for health care professionals to keep up, let alone a lay person.”

Can anyone learn? “Yes,” said Lacy. “My 6-year-old knows how to do CPR. Even young children can grasp that something is wrong, call 911 and know how to get help and what to do until emergency crews arrive.”

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