A Community Service: The Benefits of Offering Lifesaving Training Through Parks and Recreation

City, state, and county governments across the U.S. are beginning to realize the massive benefits of offering community CPR training programs

According to recent statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA), 70% of Americans do not know or do not remember CPR, rendering them nearly helpless in the event of a heart attacks, drownings, and other potentially lifesaving emergencies. More widespread proficiency in lifesaving techniques like CPR and AED-use among the U.S. population could save thousands of lives per year– especially among society’s most vulnerable populations, such as young children, the elderly, and individuals with serious disabilities.

Fortunately, governments around the country are beginning to respond to this knowledge gap by offering CPR and AED training through city, county, and state Parks and Recreation departments. Offering community CPR and AED training isn’t just good government in action; it can often help save money while bringing members of community together.

Lifesaving CPR and AED training saves city and county governments money

Unfortunately, deaths and serious injuries aren’t only tragic; they can also be incredibly expensive, and state and local governments often find themselves footing part or all of the bill. Research from the Committee on the Treatment of Cardiac Arrest at the Institute of Medicine has attempted to quantify the impact, concluding:

“Cardiac arrest is a complex and lethal condition that poses a substantial public health burden, with high nationwide mortality rates and the potential for profound and irreversible neurologic injury and functional disability. In addition to the number of lives lost, cardiac arrest has a considerable economic impact; measured in terms of productive years of life lost due to premature death or avoidable neurologic disability, it constitutes a societal burden equal to or greater than that of other leading causes of death in the nation.”

By reducing the amount of preventable deaths and injuries, Parks and Recreation departments can reduce the economic and social impact on a community. On a local level, city and county governments that offer CPR training through their Parks and Recreation departments can also mitigate expenditures on death-related costs, such as the use of a coroner and/or medical examiner.

CPR training can help save lives while bringing your community together

In addition to directly serving citizens, Parks and Recreation-based CPR and AED training programs can interface with other organizations to serve even more members of the community. For example, a Parks and Recreation Department could partner with local schools to expand lifesaving training programs to students. The schools, in-turn, can enlist parents, friends, and family members of the students to participate in the department’s program. These programs may also be extended to partner with senior living and eldercare centers, as well as integrating with community programs for people with disabilities.

CPR and AED training programs through Parks and Recreation departments can also help train city, county, and state employees in these lifesaving techniques. While some government agencies, such as those related to law enforcement, already may have training programs, many agencies do not. Unfortunately, this lack of education leaves government employees at risk and potentially liable for accidental deaths.

Overall, offering lifesaving CPR and AED training through your local Parks and Recreation department could be one of the best ways to bring your community together – offering a service that keeps citizens safer while reducing potential financial impact and legal liability.

If you manage programs for a Parks and Recreation department and you are interested in offering an American Heart Association-accredited lifesaving training course to your community, contact One Beat CPR today for a free consultation.