'Early CPR by a citizen really improves their chances of survival'

COOS BAY, Ore. - Every second counts when someone's heart stops during a medical emergency.
The American Heart Association found that 92 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. Statistics show that performing CPR could double or even triple someone's chances of survival, the AHA said.

The Coos Bay Fire Department is teaching CPR classes to teach people in the community the potentially life-saving procedure.

"Emergencies happen sudden and they can happen anywhere. It's at work school, the park," said Willy Burris, a firefighter and paramedic with the department. "Unfortunately there's been a few bad accidents throughout the year already."

Burris said that people are often too scared or apprehensive to do anything in an emergency situation.

He said the first thing you should do if someone is unresponsive is call 911. Then start pushing.

"Bearing the chest, pushing hard, pushing fast at about 100 times per minute," said Burris.

Every minute that passes, health experts at the AHA said a person's chance of survival drops by 10 percent.

"It takes emergency services typically 5 to 8 minutes here in town to arrive on scene, you can see where the early CPR by a citizen really improves their chances of survival," said Burris.