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Gallatin Heart Rescue celebrates one-year milestone



5,000 people trained in Adult Hands-Only CPR


BOZEMAN – When a 23-year-old woman suffered a heart attack last December, her survival depended on a Bozeman policeman. Fortunately, he had recently been trained in Adult Hands-Only CPR, which helped save her life.

The officer had trained with the Gallatin Heart Rescue Project, which reached its goal of training 5,000 citizens from all walks of life in the life-saving procedure in its first.

“The critical first step to increasing survival is recognizing cardiac arrest and reacting appropriately,” said Kevin Lauer, co-founder of Gallatin Heart Rescue. “Nationwide, only about 35 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive any CPR prior to the arrival of a 911 responder. We wanted to change that, and increase a person’s chances of survival, since a cardiac arrest victim is twice as likely to live when bystanders give CPR.”

Adult Hands-Only CPR can be taught in 30 minutes and does not require mouth-to-mouth breathing.

As an EMT with American Medical Response, Lauer knows the situation firsthand. That’s why he worked with hospital staff, Absaroka Emergency Physicians and Gallatin County Law Enforcement and Fire Agencies to initiate the project.

The program has expanded to communities across Montana and 11 other states, with more requests for training every day. Now, Gallatin Heart Rescue is expanding its lifesaving efforts through the purchase of five AEDs (automatic electronic defibrillators) that were be donated to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s and Bozeman Police departments during a public event at Bozeman Deaconess on Valentine’s Day.

“Eventually, we want to see an AED in every vehicle in the county,” Lauer said. “And we will continue to offer Hands-Only training until everyone knows how to make the initial response to a heart attack.”

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