Local Lifesavers project aims to save lives by teaching CPR

Leadership Lake Oswego is planning something big to make a difference in the lives of this community - literally by saving lives.

The project is called Lake Oswego Lifesavers, and its organizers hope to equip as many people as possible with the training and equipment to help in medical emergencies.

'We wanted to create a project that would truly make an impact on the Lake Oswego community,' said Jamie Inglis of Leadership Lake Oswego. 'Especially since Lake Oswego has a very large aging population, and it helps individuals develop the skills necessary to save a life.'

Lake Oswego Lifesavers will kick off with a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Oswego High School. Suggested donation is $5 per person. Proceeds will be used to purchase CPR Anytime kits from the American Heart Association and for teaching CPR Anytime within the community.

Besides pancakes, there will be much more at the event. Local businesses will be on hand to support the cause and advertise their products. The Lake Oswego fire and police departments will participate in the celebration. A special presentation will be given by the K9 Police Team, including champion police dogs, Kai and Charger.

The new program was inspired by Johnson, who participated in it while serving as police chief in Sunnyvale, Calif.

'I saw this program have great success in another city,' Johnson said. 'Over 1,600 people learned CPR in a year. I know the same thing can happen here. People can learn CPR in 25 minutes with these kits and have a skill for life.'

The CPR Anytime kit that Johnson used in California is a personalized training kit developed by the American Heart Association, which helps people learn the core skills of CPR, automated external defibrillators and choking relief.

'We hope to have the same success with Lake Oswego Lifesavers,' Inglis said.

Eventually, Inglis hopes Lake Oswego Lifesavers will have a 'pay it forward' effect similar to the one it had on the Leadership class. Inglis said the whole class recently learned CPR Anytime and is now teaching it to friends and family. The count of new CPR trainees is now up to 35.

'Our goal is to help the community develop lifesaving skills,' Inglis said. 'By using this program they may have the opportunity to save a life.'

Johnson hopes Lake Oswego Lifesavers save a lot of lives.

'The Lake Oswego Fire Department has a save rate of 33 percent on cardiac arrest. The national save rate is 5 percent,' Johnson said. 'But I hope we can do even better. The key is to get heart attack victims going on CPR, so by the time the police department or fire department get there, there's a much better chance of survival.'

The more people who come to the pancake breakfast on April 28, the more CPR Anytime kits can be purchased.

'We want to buy the kits and get them out into the community,' Johnson said. 'We want to keep pushing up the number of people who can do CPR.'

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