Borough President Vito Fossella was joined by Robin Vitale, Vice President of Health at the American Heart Society, and Rachel Volpe, Executive Director of the Staten Island Heart Society, in launching “Be the Beat,” a nationwide call-to-action to ensure every household has at least one family member trained in hands-only CPR.
“Be the Beat” provides free resource tools to help start and sustain hands-only CPR and AED training programs in communities to teach the lifesaving skill. Hands-only CPR -- which involves chest compressions, rather than mouth-to-mouth resuscitation -- is recommended by the American Heart Association as it increases the likelihood of people performing CPR in an emergency.
“The fundamental truth remains that if we can administer and provide CPR in the first minute or two, we can save a life,” said Borough President Fossella during a CPR training session for staff members in the offices of Borough Hall, as well as those from the District Attorney’s office and court personnel. “The recent on-field cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills’ player Damar Hamlin underscores the importance of this training in the event of an emergency.”
Each year, 350,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest -- when the heart stops beating and the individual is unresponsive. About 90% of individuals who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting will not survive.
“We are challenging every family to train at least one person in hands-only CPR, and if possible, to be certified,” said Dr. Ginny Mantello, Borough Hall’s Director of Health and Wellness. “This is important because most cardiac arrests don’t occur in the hospital. They happen at home, or at work, or in the community. This very simple measure, this very simple training can potentially save the life of a loved one.”
Watch the full press conference here.