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Gallatin Heart Rescue celebrates successes of hands-only CPR




BOZEMAN – What began two years ago as a local effort to help heart attack victims

survive while waiting for medical attention has grown into a statewide program that

taught 12,000 individuals to perform the life-saving technique of hands-only CPR.

Gallatin Heart Rescue celebrated its second anniversary on Feb. 14 at Bozeman

Deaconess Hospital, where GHR donated six automated external defibrillators, or

AEDs, to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office as well as Bozeman and Manhattan Police

departments. The group also celebrated the efforts of those who’ve used the technique

to save the lives of strangers.

“The critical first step to increasing survival is recognizing cardiac arrest and reacting

appropriately, since a cardiac arrest victim is twice as likely to live when bystanders give CPR,” said

Kevin Lauer, co‐founder of Gallatin Heart Rescue and an EMT with American Medical Response, the

ambulance service that works with Bozeman Deaconess.

“Nationwide, only about 6 percent of cardiac arrest victims survive, because most didn’t

receive CPR prior to the arrival of a 911 responder,” Lauer said. “But in just one year our

survivability jumped from 6 percent to 17 percent overall in Gallatin County.”

Adult hands‐only CPR can be taught in 45 minutes, and does not require mouth‐to‐

mouth breathing.

“Our original cache of 10 ‘CPR in a box’ totes has now grown to 24 in Gallatin County

and 60 throughout the state,” Lauer said. “This means we have 600 mannequins

and more than one hundred facilitators now teaching our program, including staff at

Bozeman Deaconess Cardiac Pulmonary Rehabilitation.”

A number of local businesses are now using GHR’s program and the group also teaches

the procedure in many schools and scout programs throughout the state. 

GHR is a partnership among Bozeman Deaconess Health Services, American Medical

Response, Absaroka Emergency Physicians, and Gallatin County Law Enforcement and

local fire agencies.

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