NORWICH TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) – More people in at least one central Ohio township are learning about what it takes to possibly save a life.
CPR classes happen regularly across central Ohio, including Norwich Township Fire Department on Wednesday, with a lot more people signing up than usual.
People signed up for the class for several reasons. Some have family members with heart issues. Some are babysitters.
The lieutenant who leads the class said there has been more interest since the situation involving Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin about a month ago.
“Seconds matter, minutes matter,” said Lt. Jeff Woodward with the Norwich Township Fire Department. “It’s a huge difference if we arrive and CPR compressions are being performed by a family member or bystander or someone prior to our arrival.”
Woodward has been teaching the classes for 25 years. He says usually five or six people sign up. Wednesday night’s class had 21.
“We have had a huge increase since the Damar Hamlin incident on the football field,” he said.
It’s been about a month since Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati. Woodward said that’s the likely reason more interest has been shown in the classes.
It’s part of the reason Dorothy Leachman is learning the lifesaving skill.
“It just kind of touched me, like people should know how to do that,” she said. “What if nobody’s around to help you? So that’s why I decided to do it.”
Her main reason for taking the class is her husband’s history of heart issues. She wants to be prepared as they get ready to go on a ski trip.
“Just in case anybody needs help was one reason,” Leachman said.
No matter what the reason, Woodward is glad more people are taking the class.
“It’s a great feeling to know we’re going to have 21 more people in the community that are more prepared for an emergency to happen in their presence or in their home,” he said.
Woodward said there are already more than 20 people signed up for next month’s class.