West Allis Fire Department
According to the American Heart Association, approximately 40 people go into cardiac arrest each hour outside of a hospital. Nine out of 10 of those patients will not survive.
A person’s chances of survival are doubled if hands-only CPR is performed immediately, and fire captain David Bandomir of the West Allis Fire Department has made it his mission to raise the bystander CPR rate in Wisconsin through training and education.
Hands-only CPR has been found to be equally as effective as traditional mouth-to-mouth and bystanders are likely to feel more comfortable performing it.
To perform hands-only CPR, a rescuer should push hard and fast in the center of the person’s chest, sinking in at least two inches at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
Bandomir routinely volunteers his time and energy in the community to spread the message and to train in hands-only CPR.
He was instrumental in establishing the Milwaukee County Hands-Only CPR Initiative, which works to increase the availability of CPR training in the community.
In February 2016, the initiative delivered CPR training bins that included a locally-produced training DVD, training mannequins and an automated external defibrillator trainer to firehouses and public buildings throughout Milwaukee County.
The kits allowed for free, self-directed basic compression-only CPR training in the comfort of individual homes.
Bandomir also saw a huge opportunity to reach people at the Wisconsin State Fair. In 2016, he put together a committee of local partners and was able to host a hands-only CPR training class every day of the Wisconsin State Fair.
Together, the West Allis Professional Firefighters Association; Milwaukee County fire departments; the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management; Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin; Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation; American Heart Association; and Project ADAM, which is based out of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, provided training for more than 1,440 fairgoers, who are now equipped with the potential life-saving knowledge of CPR.