By Steven Bernstein
This past Saturday, I had the privilege to learn CPR from Joe Gentilesco, an EMT with the Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The CVAC is a volunteer ambulance service that has provided free emergency care to Chappaqua and New Castle residents for over 75 years.
The class consisted of a detail oriented video, with hands on practice observed and directed by EMT Joe Gentilesco. Joe has been a member of the CVAC for four years.
Joe feels it is good for everyone to know how to perform CPR: “A person with knowledge of CPR doubles a person’s chance between life and death.”
The course highlighted key points for when to administer CPR, and the steps to perform it properly. After seeing the video display when and where to perform CPR, the participants were given dummies to practice with.
Along with the rest of the class, I learned the proper rate to administer chest compressions to stimulate a steady heartbeat. This simple technique can keep the person stable until help arrives to provide further treatment.
The class also covered how to properly assist adults and infants who are choking. The dummies clearly highlighted the proper places to administer pressure so that the person choking will be able to regain the ability to breathe. Joe instructed others on the amount of pressure to administer on a person based on their age and size.
The class was enlightening to all who attended it: “Now I know what to do when someone is choking, and now I’ll be prepared,” said Maddy Bergstron. Maddy decided to take the course after witnessing someone perform CPR on a child who was choking at a summer camp she had worked at the previous year.
The Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps offers CPR and other medical courses throughout the year. CVAC can arrange classes for those who wish to learn proper CPR techniques. For those interested in learning more, email firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange for a class that can teach the skills that can double the chances of saving the life of a loved one.
Steven Bernstein graduated from Western New England University with a degree in Creative Writing. He’s written and edited articles for Western New England University’s alumni magazine, “The Communicator.” He taught creative writing at Duggan Middle School, and is currently a freelance writer for Inside Chappaqua.