Mayor Sessoms to Help Kick Off Hands-Only CPR Program March 16

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr., a former volunteer rescue squad member, will help kick off the Hands-Only CPR program at the Shamrock Marathon Health Expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 16, in room 2A.


Virginia Beach is one of five cities nationwide selected by the American Heart Association for a Hands-Only CPR Training Grant that will help turn residents into lifesavers. The hands-only training kits, which include a DVD video, instructions and a specially designed mannequin, will be used to initially train 1,000 residents. The Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services will coordinate distribution of the kits for training at local events, volunteer rescue squads, community centers, churches, businesses and schools. Those residents, in turn, will each pledge to train at least four additional friends or relatives by the end of the year. The goal is to have 5,000 people trained in how to perform this life-saving procedure.


This program will support the Cities of Service Volunteer CPR Project, in which cities partner with local healthcare professionals and emergency responders to train volunteers to use the lifesaving Hands-Only CPR technique. The March 16 Shamrock Marathon Health Expo, sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, is a fitting event to launch the program.


Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, and 89 percent of Americans die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Hands-Only CPR is a quick, easy way to save more lives. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, first call 911, then push hard and fast in the center of the patient’s chest. Doing these compressions at the proper beat can more than double a person’s chances of survival. Coincidentally, the proper beat matches the classic Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive.”


This Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR grant is valued at $20,000.  For more information about Cities of Service, visit To learn more about Hands-Only CPR, visit


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