Graettinger: New program adds layer of commitment to Sun City Posse

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A new training program introduced last month to volunteer members of the Sun City Posse added yet another layer of commitment to the residents of this community by making us better at what we do — keeping Sun City safe.

We all have many moments in our life that we are proud of and for those of us who took the five-hour course, this is one of those moments because we all have been certified by the American Heart Association with CPR certificates.

Now, this is not a bragging moment, but it is a way to put into perspective a recent training exercise I, and other Posse members, received. Last month, the Sun City Posse, working with the American Red Cross, offered a five-hour CPR class. The class also included first aide instructions for everything from treating a broken limb to recognizing the signs of a stroke or heart attack. This training class is just one more example of the Posse’s commitment to the community.

Twenty posse members, including me, took the class and are now certified in CPR. The class, along with other programs the Posse conducted, including one on how to avoid being the victim of a scam, was coordinated by Posse Lt. Toni Ashby and Lt. Jean Schmidt and is part of the Posse’s community ongoing outreach program. Our instructor for the course was Kristen Bright, a licensed nurse.

How important is it to know CPR? Last year, a neighbor of mine choked on a piece of meat while having dinner at a friend’s house. If it had not been for her husband and her friend, who administered CPR until the Sun City Fire and Medical unit arrived, she would not be here to celebrate 2020.

Seeing the impact on a neighbor and dear friend, I was determined to learn the methodology behind the procedure. Although the content of the course was deadly serious, there were moments of fun, especially during the first aide portion of the class as I practiced on my study buddy, Posse M.Sgt. Ron Pease. We started with the basic techniques of CPR. Working with blue mannequins, we practiced the appropriate hand position and pressure needed to keep a heart beating, thus supplying the necessary oxygen to the brain until emergency medical help arrives.

We also were taught how to administer CPR to a baby who requires just two fingers and less pressure. Now, you may be wondering why a baby in Sun City, but think of all those grandchildren who visit.

The technique we learned for CPR started with tapping the shoulder and shouting to make sure the person is non-responsive. Next, call 911, if available, get an AED. Look for breathing or gasping. Then put hands on the person’s chest and compress 200 times. If an AED is available, shock the heart with the portable device. If the heart is unresponsive, keep administering CPR until medical help arrives.

After our lunch break, we turned our attention to first aide instructions and that is where the fun began. Although it too was serious instructions, it was fun to practice on M.Sgt. Peace, who is a retired sheriff’s deputy. He is familiar with much of the training from having been a police officer. For me, it was all new. But after several hours of information, I now know the ins and outs of how to treat a nose bleed or sprain. I can now splint a fracture and put the right amount of pressure to stop a bleed from a cut.

Using both short video clips and instructor advice, we were able to master all of the training techniques. Now, this class did not make any of us doctors, but it did offer us yet another tool to make us better as we  make sure Sun City is safe.

Remember, our business is the business of helping our residents.

Editor’s Note: Diana Graettinger is Sun City Posse public information officer.

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