"Totally affects everybody:" People come together for Pushing for Life: Hands Only CPR Training

CPR training

WEST BEND -- It's a skill everyone needs to know -- and quick action during cardiac arrest can dramatically increase the chances of saving a life.

"It's all about compressions, push deep and fast in the center of the chest," David Myers from the First Aid Plus, American Heart Association said.

The West Bend School District, First Aid Plus and the American Heart Association offered free hands only CPR training to the community.

CPR training

David Myers

"We are so happy to see the turnout," Myers said.

Myers said CPR is just one component of the lifesaving technique.

"They are also going to learn how an automated external defibrillator works and with that they will actually be able to do it, learn it and won't feel uncomfortable if they are in a public place to use it," Myers said.

The occurrence happens more than you may think. Every year in the U.S. more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital. If CPR is started immediately, it can double or triple the victim's chance of survival. But, in Washington County, bystander CPR rates are only around 20%, meaning the person only has about a 1 in 5 chance that someone will step in and offer CPR.

"Totally affects everybody," Dana Bilello said.

Dana Bilello

This is something Dana Bilello and her daughter Kylie know first hand.

"She collapsed in a sudden cardiac arrest," Dana said. "I'm the one who started CPR on her."

It was later determine Kylie had a congenital heart defect. Thankfully , Dana, a daycare professional was CPR trained.

"I'm very thankful for my mom to step in and help me when I needed it," Kylie said.

The pair is now helping teach others because every moment is crucial.

Kylie and Dana Bilello

"For every minute that passes with nothing being done a person's chance of survival decrease by 10 percent," said Dana.

The event was also about making a difference in many ways. Participants were also asked to donate food to help those in need.

"That food will be given back to the food pantry in West Bend," Myers.