Kansas City, Kan., recently was recognized as a Heart Safe Community.
The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department, the University of Kansas Hospital, and the community worked together to receive the national award and was recognized by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on May 1 at the Unified Government Commission meeting.
About 3,000 people were trained to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack, its causes and how to prevent it, as well as how to perform hands-only CPR and early activation of the 911 system, plus hands-on use of defibrillators.
The UG placed 20 defibrillators in the court house, offices and on buses.
“Since this was instituted, this community has one of the highest rates of bystander CPR, and one of the highest rates of ventricular fibrillation survival from sudden death in the street,” said Dr. Dennis Allin of the University of Kansas Hospital, who worked with this program.
Fire Chief John Paul Jones thanked all those who helped with the program, and said since this program was launched, the use of bystander CPR here has increased from 19 percent to 32 percent.
The Fire Department and KU Hospital helped present programs throughout the community to different groups, including several schools, he said. The program is ongoing, as there is a new effort planned to train as many as 12,000 Boy Scouts and their family members at a regional Scout event to be held at the Kansas Speedway, he said.
“This will be just the beginning in an effort to expose as many people as possible to this life-saving technique,” he said.
Jones said this program is being used as a template for partnerships in other communities across the metro area.
Signs will be going up through the community designating it as a “Heart Safe Community.” The UG and KU Hospital have produced some videos on the program and how to perform hands-only CPR. One of the videos is online at YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LP34tv5vVI.
“The idea we’re a leader in saving lives from heart disease and heart attacks is good news,” said UG Commissioner Hal Walker.