Hands Only CPR

Jackson Hole Fire/EMS is presenting this free, non-certification instruction online and at community events around Teton County to teach people how to perform Hands-Only CPR on teen and adult cardiac arrest victims while they wait for first responders to arrive.

Why We Are Helping

Over 1,000 people a day suffer cardiac arrest in the U.S. Of these cardiac arrests, 88% occur at home and, tragically, bystander CPR is attempted in less than 32 percent of the cases. In a sudden cardiac arrest, survivability drops 10% for every minute CPR is delayed, which means, without CPR prior to the arrival of paramedics, there is little chance of reviving the victim.

It’s not that people are unwilling to help during an emergency but, in the case of a cardiac arrest, they often feel helpless. Bystanders fear lawsuits from trying to step in and assist; worry about infection from performing mouth-to-mouth, or don’t want to risk “hurting” a patient in cardiac arrest by performing chest compressions.

Recognizing this, the American Heart Association (AHA) modified its guidelines in 2008, removing mouth-to-mouth from the treatment protocol in favor of continuous hands-only chest compressions (to the beat of the Bee Gee’s classic “Stayin’ Alive”) for community responders and reminded citizens of the Good Samaritan laws that protect them.

Plans to Educate

Building on this momentum—and thanks to a generous grant from the Breakfast Rotary Club—Jackson Hole Fire/EMS has exciting plans to educate our community about the life-saving technique of Hands-Only CPR. The technique involves two simple steps: call 911, and push hard and fast at the center of the chest, at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.

EMTs Teaching CPR
EMTs Teaching CPR to Kids

Our Goal & Hope

Our goal is to increase the number of people in our community who are prepared and willing to provide CPR in the event that someone experiences a cardiac arrest in their presence. This simple action means that Jackson Hole Fire/EMS paramedics will arrive to find bystander CPR in progress and a patient with well-oxygenated blood in their heart and brain, and much more apt to respond to advanced life support interventions. International research—and our own local experience—have demonstrated that early bystander CPR is critical to a victim’s survival. In order for our EMS system to give people their best chance for a return to a full and active life, we need our community’s help.

Our hope is that one day—whether under the antler arch, at the supermarket or beside the rushing majesty of the Snake River—no resident or tourist in Teton County will collapse in sudden cardiac arrest without a bystander rushing to them and giving them a fighting chance at survival by first calling 911, then performing hands-only CPR prior to the arrival of Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. Help us make this dream a reality!