First responders offering free hands-only CPR training at Wisconsin State Fair

The West Allis Fire Department, Anthem BCBS Foundation and the American Heart Association are offering free, hands-only CPR training at the Wisconsin State Fair.

According to health officials, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital every year in the U.S. If CPR is started right away, it can double or triple a victim's chance to survive.

The free training offered at the State Fair runs every day from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. It's run out of a CPR training trailer acquired late last year by a group of counties in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Kelsey Carlson, EMS Education Manager with Milwaukee County's Office of Emergency Management, said the trailer was paid for with a grant from the Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition.

"It's loaded with all the manikins you need, the AEDs, so that we can teach (people) CPR," Carlson said.

"The earlier we can get hands on the chest for CPR, the better the survival rates are for our citizens," she added.

The training at the fair encompasses basic, hands-only CPR -- no special counting or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. 

Carlson said it takes less than one minute.

Kathy Schwei, Emergency Management Coordinator for Waukesha County, said the state fair is a great opportunity to help more people learn the basic way to perform chest compressions. 

"Because of the vast number of people that come to the state fair, and because you can go through the training so quickly, you can serve so many people and train so many people here," Schwei said. 

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