Southwest Health System ambulance crews held a “flash mob” event Thursday at the Cortez City Market as part of EMS Week.
A crew of emergency medical technicians rushed in and set up medical equipment and dummies on the floor next to the registers to show people how they react to someone suffering from a heart attack.
Tips on CPR chest compressions also were demonstrated.
“Southwest ambulance services bring the ER to your front door, or wherever there is an medical emergency like a market,” an EMT told a curious group of shoppers.
EMTs tend to victims using advanced CPR, artificial respirators, defibrillator, cardiac monitors and drugs, he said.
But you don’t need to be CPR-certified to help someone having a heart attack. Simple hard and fast chest compressions can save a life, said Southwest EMT Miranda Ludington.
“It’s important to get that message out to the community,” she said.
Every year, 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in the U.S., but less than half get the CPR assistance they need because bystanders don’t respond.
Seventy percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home, and even then people close to the victim do not respond enough.
“You won’t hurt anything; you will help,” said EMT Ashley Lingo.
“We’ve had better outcomes when people jump in and at least do the chest compressions.”
During the flash mob, EMTs showed volunteers, including a City Market employee and two kids, how to do the chest compressions on CPR dummies.
For information about CPR classes, visit the Southwest Memorial Education Services website or call 970-564-2160.