As many of you know, HOPE stands for Hands On Practical Experience. It’s a 45-minute training program in chest compression-only CPR.
And Becky DeVoss, RN, M.S.H.A. has some amazing news this month. “As of May 1, we were only 169 away from having 10,000 trained people in the two years since we started the HOPE program. We will actually exceed that threshold this month. On May 13, we had a mass training of 450 students, so we will actually have 10,281 people trained in a mere 2 years.”
Becky is the clinical education coordinator at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio, and also the TC Director of Fairfield’s ASHI Training Center, and the original creator of the HOPE program.
The program is designed for anyone who desires potentially lifesaving hands-on practical experience in chest compression-only CPR. This program is offered free of charge to the participants.
“10,000 wasn’t a specific goal in itself, it’s just that, looking back, we would never have believed we would hit that number so soon,” she says. The first year saw only about 3,300 students, and about a thousand fewer in year two. Now, only partway into 2014, HOPE has already imparted lifesaving skills to over 3,000 people. “The word is definitely out,” says Becky.
In addition to all those newly trained in chest compression-only CPR, Becky’s team has placed almost 300 AEDs in their county.
Primarily offering HOPE in local school districts, Becky reports that those middle-school kids make excellent students for the program. Her team offers mass chest compression-only CPR training sessions, teaching 100 students at a time. Of those 100, “at least one always reports that he or she has either witnessed or helped someone in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA),” she says.
“The kids are great with the HOPE training. They aren’t afraid to help because, with the chest compression-only CPR we teach in HOPE, they don’t have to do rescue breaths. The rescue breaths are always high on the list of what puts people off from stepping up in an emergency. Not that the kids find chest compression-only CPR easy, though. They have to do two full minutes of compressions and they report how tired they are afterwards,” she explains.
And they remember what they learned. The kids come back a year later and they can still remember a vital part of Becky’s HOPE training: the “four A’s.”
Becky tells her young HOPE students that ,“Your report card has 4 A’s on it and here they are. They totally latch on to that,” she laughs.
Are the kids intimidated by the AED? No way, says Becky.
Her students are very moved when she shares a story from the early days of HOPE (and you will be too, I guarantee it). A 9-year-old local girl went into arrest at a neighborhood pool. Her mom and her brother were there and witnessed the incident. The lifeguards on duty brought an AED, but were unwilling to push the button even though the shock was advised.
When EMS arrived, they used the AED to shock the stricken girl and thankfully she survived. That rescued young lady came with her family to the first Mass CPR and HOPE training on May 20, 2012 (You can see this brave girl and her brother in the photo in today's post). In addition, the young victim’s brother decided to add his voice to the cause as well. He brought a manikin to show-and-tell at his school and showed his classmates how to do chest compression-only CPR. “This is how my sister was saved,” he told them, driving his point home in the unforgettable way only a witness can.
Why is HOPE growing by leaps and bounds this year? Becky puts it very simply. “Because it works. We’ve never done any official advertising. It’s all been word of mouth and human interest stories in the local media. People are intrigued and they want to learn,” she says.
Becky has a soft spot for her ASHI colleagues as well. “I’ve known the ASHI team since the earliest days and and I think this is a great group of people with a great mission. It’s all about saving lives, and that’s a wonderful thing to do.”
ASHI and MEDIC First Aid instructors interested in offering a free HOPE class can download the HOPE Participant Course Outline, the HOPE Participant Course Presentation, the HOPE Compression-only CPR Skill Sheet (one per participant, print or digital), and the Rate Your Program Class Evaluation through their Otis portal. Log into Otis, then go to Dashboard>Administration>Documents>Instructor Guides and you’ll find them as a “digital resource kit.”