Some kids are spending their summer break sleeping in, going to the pool or playing video games. Others are learning how to save a life.
Los Angeles County Firefighters joined city lifeguard instructors at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center Tuesday morning to teach more than 80 Junior Lifeguards a valuable life-saving technique – CPR Anytime.
“I’m going to go home and teach my brother how to do it,” said 11-year-old Blake Cruz.
“CPR Anytime is very basic,” said Nelson Vasquez, Aquatics Coordinator. “You just use your hands and you don’t have to use your breath to help save a life.”
The City of Santa Clarita’s Junior Lifeguard summer training program teaches basic first-aid skills, water safety and CPR training during a 5-week session at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. This summer 85 students ages 8-15 are enrolled in the morning and afternoon sessions.
“The other day I learned how to treat heat and cold related illnesses and what to do if someone is having a heart attack,” said 10-year-old Jacquelene Hundelt.
“It was surprising to me that someone can get sick just by being too hot or too cold,” she said.
On Tuesday Junior lifeguards learned how to identify if a person was in need of CPR, how to instruct a single person to call for help and the proper way to perform chest compressions, a physically exhausting task after only a couple of minutes of practice on their inflatable mannequins.
“From the time we get the call until we arrive on scene it’s going to be around six minutes,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Mickey Schaffer told the students.
“If you’re not doing CPR during that time, someone may suffer permanent brain damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure someone is calling 911,” he said.
Each of the students get to keep their American Heart Association CPR Anytime training kit complete with a mini inflatable manikin, a.k.a. Anne, and step-by-step instructional DVD, courtesy of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation.
The goal is that they’ll take the kit home and teach their family and friends how to perform hands-only CPR, Schaffer said.
“I think the kids are learning today that no matter how big or small they are they can help someone during an emergency,” Vasquez said.