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Bystander CPR can save a life, here’s how you can help

Posted at 11:53 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 11:19:16-05

CPR can save lives.

The Morro Bay Fire Department says it did when a surfer needed rescuing bystanders who knew it saved a surfer over the weekend.

Before crews arrived on scene Saturday morning, eight bystanders including two off-duty ambulance personnel were already performing c-p-r on a non-responsive surfer.

Firefighter’s say you can do it too. It’s as easy as remembering the beat to a popular 70’s song.

“You want to place your hands right over the sternum, you want to place both your hands together and you want to allow for a complete re-coil.”

“The goal is to get you to do chest compressions,” said Morro Bay Fire Chief Steve Knuckles. “We need to keep the heart alive just as much as we need to keep the brain alive. and you have enough oxygen in your blood to do just only hands-only CPR.”

Chief Knuckles says it’s important to keep compressions going until emergency crews can take over.

“2 inches down, 100 beats per minute just like the song ‘Stayin Alive’ by the Bee-Gees.”

Former lifeguard Daniel Cimo wants to brush up on his CPR skills after seeing today’s waves.

“It was really scary and I am pretty comfortable in the water, but it was definitely scary,” said Cimo.

Harbor Patrol got a call about a surfer face down in high surf Saturday morning around 8:30 a.m.

Other surfers in the water were able to bring him to shore and perform c-p-r until first responders arrived.

Chief Knuckles said hands-only CPR, where no mouth to mouth is given, can be highly effective.

“With bystander CPR with a witnessed cardiac arrest or stopping of the heart there is up to a 50% chance survivability if bystander CPR is performed,” added Chief Knuckles.

First, it is important to call 9-1-1 when someone is not breathing.

Another local surfer said he wants to start CPR training after learning hearing about the rescue.

“It’s something you think about,” said Ryan Kirkpatrick. “If i were ever to see somebody in trouble I would of course paddle out to them.”

He says it’s important to surf with friends and be aware of your surroundings when out in the water.

SLO County Public Heath says 90% of cardiac arrests occur at home, but knowing CPR can be the difference between life or death.

In this case, with the help of bystander CPR, crews were able to get the man’s pulse back while still on the beach.

The surfer identified as Craig Ainsworth, first went to French Hospital but according to a Facebook post might be transported to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.

His condition is not known at this time.