'Bystander' training will help city employees help others

'Bystander' training will help city employees help others

PAWTUCKET - Thanks to a grant secured by the city Fire Department, six city employees received training from a Lifespan nurse last week that could help save lives down the line.

Called Bystander CPR/AED training, the employees were guided in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and use of an automatic electronic defibrillator, which also came courtesy of the grant. In addition to the AED device that will be set up on the second floor of City Hall, the grant provided a wall-mounted station that will be installed at the Pawtucket Public Library to house an AED being contributed by the Pawtucket Fire Department.

The training was provided by Marianne Stepanian, cardiac project coordinator for Lifespan through its Community Health Services division. Stepanian said the training follows guidelines set by the American Heart Association and has been provided to cities and towns around the state, with 50 AEDs being given out under the program.

The trainees practiced their CPR techniques on torso-sized dummies that allow the head to be tilted and respond with an audible click when chest compressions are performed properly. Stepanian also instructed the trainees in how and where to place the paddles for the AED device, among other techniques.

"It's for the average person," said Fire Chief William Sisson. "The more people we can train, the more possibilities there are that if someone goes down, we can get them help."

Sisson said if more city employees show interest, the Fire Department can set up similar training sessions for them as well.