On National CPR and AED Awareness Week, share your lifesaving story

Cardiac-related incidents are the No. 1 reason a fatality is reported within Scouting.

That sobering fact, provided by BSA Health and Safety Team Leader Richard Bourlon, is all it should take to convince you that CPR and AED training is worth your time.

Or you could just ask Jose Lepervanche.

The Scouter from Jacksonville, Fla., was at a council camp in Georgia when he suddenly collapsed. After calling 911, Scouts rushed to his side and tried to revive him. Fortunately for Lepervanche, the camp had purchased an AED, or automated external defibrillator, and used it to save his life. (Read his full story here.)

Both times I’ve talked to Lepervanche in person, at the 2010 and 2013 national jamborees, he has shared his story and asked me to remind everyone I can that AEDs really do save lives. He is, quite literally, living proof.

Lepervanche’s story, plus the fact that this week is National CPR and AED Awareness Week, got me wondering about other CPR and/or AED saves within Scouting. Have you helped save a life or had your life saved?

If so, please share your story in the comments as a reminder to us all to get trained.

After all, as adult Scout leaders we have a great interest in encouraging our Scouts to know all they can about CPR and AEDs. These very Scouts may be called upon to save our lives some day.


ECSI and Boy Scouts of America Training Agreement

American Red Cross and Boy Scouts of America Training Agreement

10 thoughts on “On National CPR and AED Awareness Week, share your lifesaving story

  1. I witnessed firsthand the use of CPR and AED’s in saving the life of a woman at the BSA National HQ. Gloria Lundeen, then staff nurse now retired, acted swiftly to get us all into action when this lady collapsed. AED’s work. Get trained.

  2. My four week old son – home from the hospital for less than three weeks – turned blue and had blood coming out of his nose and mouth. I had taken infant CPR before he left the NICU and used it to save him.

    The Children’s Hospital eventually figured out, after many tests, that he had staph pneumonia and a clot of blood and mucus had been stuck in his throat. When I started chest compressions, it forced it free and left him start breathing again.

    I still nearly have a panic attack when I see the dummies from an infant CPR class. But I retake it whenever it’s expired and I have the opportunity. Adult classes are easy to find – infant / child, not so much. (BSA – why don’t you make this available to leaders?!?!?)

  3. The National BSA has a deal with the American Red Cross to offer the Red Cross First Aid, CPR w/ AED Ceritfication for a significantly reduced price. We held a training for our leaders this past weekend. It’s good to have a cadre of certified individuals; everyone should. Talk to your local Council or ARC Rep to get information about the certification and scheduling a training for your group.

    • Yes they offer CPR / AED – but not Infant and Child CPR classes, from what I’ve seen. As a Cubmaster, a lot of our guys are really little and I would feel more comfortable knowing what I’m learning includes children, not just adults. (Infant doesn’t matter as much.)

      • Bethanne, it must be the trainers (or area leaders) you’re working with. I’ve always received the child/infant portion of the course. Its not a separate class.

  4. Almost 25 years ago today I saved my mother’s life using CPR, I had CPR training several times prior to this in Scouts, high school, the USAF and with my employer. It took over 20 minutes for the EMTs to arrive despite living 2 blocks from the fire station / ambulance as there was no one on duty at the time, I had to do CPR for about 25 minutes until the ambulance and EMS finally arrived and used their AED to get her heart going again. She lived another 9 years after getting a defibrillator implant after her heart attack.

    As the price of AEDs continues to drop I can see where they will become very common in homes of people over 50 in the next 10 years. They are already becoming more common in schools, businesses, churches, airports, stores and malls.

  5. I have performed CPR several times successfully, the latest was last Sept. I witnessed a seemingly healthy, athletic man in his 30’s collapse. He had no pulse and was not breathing. I took a public AED which was mounted to a wall 30′ feet away and began rescue efforts. After 5 minutes of CPR and two AED shocks, the man regained consciousness before medics arrived. He had no health issues prior to his Sudden Cardiac Arrest and he fully recovered! You can bet my Troop Is current on First Aid and Emergency Prep!

    Check out the work of http://www.suddencardiacarrest.org. They promote solutions to prevent sudden cardiac death, including increased awareness, immediate bystander action and training, public access to defibrillation (PAD), cardiovascular disease prevention, and access to preventative therapies.

  6. Thanks for bringing up a very important and necessary subject that we need all need to think about. I would like to know more about training courses for CPR and AED training opportunities that may be available for Scouters and leaders.

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