Bethel’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is up and running thanks to the work of Bethel residents Teresa Fogel and Ken Weith, Co-Coordinators of Bethel CERT, who activated CERT after a two year hiatus. The group meets once a month, the last Wednesday of the month (no meetings in July and August).
Report by Paula Antolini
July 10, 2016 7:07PM EDT
Photo: CPR Students administer compressions on practice mannequins using the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) process during a Bethel CERT CPR/AED class.
Newly Formed Bethel CERT Held First CPR/AED Certification Class
Bethel’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is up and running thanks to the work of Bethel residents Teresa Fogel and Ken Weith, Co-Coordinators of Bethel CERT, who activated CERT after a two year hiatus. The group meets once a month, the last Wednesday of the month (no meetings in July and August). The group recently held their first CPR/AED Certification class.
Fogel said, “Bethel CERT had been inactive and I felt that since there were many well-trained CERT members previously, they deserved to be able to continue their training. The Town of Bethel benefits from that training especially when it becomes necessary to shelter residents at the Municipal Center.
“CPR and AED training is a very important part of emergency response. It’s vital that the CERT team stay up to date on this training. We never know where we might be needed so the goal is to insure that the CERT team has the best training available to be able to assist the public in any situation.
“Bethel CERT along with the Red Cross and many of the town employees keep the shelter running smoothly. We strive to keep the residents in the shelter as comfortable as possible during a stressful time such as the three hurricanes that hit Connecticut over the last few years.”
Photo: Left, Ken Weith, Bethel CERT/CPR Coordinator and Beth Perlman, CPR Instructor.
Weith organized the first CERT CPR/AED Certification Class that took place on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at the Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Department, 59 Stony Hill Rd, Bethel, CT. Classes were in two 3-hour sessions, at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m..
Ridgefield resident Beth Perlman was the CPR instructor, also a member of the American Heart Association, CERT, Connecticut State Animal Response Team (CTSART) and a nurse at Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, CT.
CPR stands for “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.” Students learned that CPR is made up of two skills: Providing Compressions and Giving Breaths. When a person’s heart stops suddenly, administering CPR can double or even triple survival rates.
Instruction was clear and concise, complete with practice Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and mannequins for adult and child size victims of heart failure, and a video presentation.
The AED is a machine that can detect an abnormal cardiac rhythm that requires treatment with a shock. An AED can deliver a shock to eliminate the abnormal rhythm. This allows the heart to resume normal rhythm.
CPR students learned what to do, in an exact order, in the event a person becomes incapacitated and the person possibly needs CPR resuscitation.
CPR Students learned the exact process:
• how to make sure the general scene is safe first
• how to determine the condition of the patient (including an extra topic now covered, how to help in an opioid-associated-life-threatening-emergency)
• how to summon for help and organize those around them to help (if others are near)
• calling 9-1-1 and placing cell phone on speaker mode
• placing patient on a solid surface
• how to administer CPR compressions (or not) and breaths (using breathing barrier or device) and base techniques on age and/or size and sex of patient
• how to prepare a patient for use of the AED
• where to place AED pads
• how to handle obstructions such as a pacemaker or medicine patch
• how to use an AED machine.
• CPR instruction also included how to switch off with another rescuer to avoid fatigue, to continue the CPR process without interruption (recommended switch is every 2 minutes).
Each student received a very thorough Heartsaver CPR AED Student Workbook and a keychain-size pouch with a breathing barrier inside. Official certification paperwork will be mailed to students shortly.
Why should individuals take a CPR course or renewal course?
This was also discussed in class. Some reasons are:
• CPR techniques can change every few years, so keep updated.
• The most important part of CPR is that it is done when needed.
• In 4-6 minutes the brain loses oxygen, so without CPR there is less likelihood of survival.
• We want to make sure that everyone who need CPR gets CPR.
• Organizations can study CPR situations because of iphone recordings, adding knowledge to the instruction process.
• Time is very important so they removed many steps from CPR, it is now easier to learn.
• It’s all about speed now, early recognition is crucial, sudden cardiac arrest appears without symptoms sometimes.
• 7-10% of patients fail chance of survival every minute without CPR.
There is a “Chain of Survival”: Recognize Emergency, Call 9-1-1, Do CPR, Use AED, Emergency Responders Arrive.
Bethel Advocate file photo: Teresa Fogel (left) Co-Coordinator of Bethel CERT, carrying CERT banner in Bethel Memorial Day Parade 2016.
If you would like more information about CERT or CPR classes, please contact: