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'Do the right thing and do it at the right time': Macon paramedic urges importance of CPR

According to the American Heart Association, 70% of out of hospital cardiac arrest cases happen in homes

MACON, Ga. — There's never a right time to learn, but you should know how to help someone if they are in need.

Jimmy Kersey comes from a family of EMTs. He's a paramedic training coordinator and has been working in public service for almost 38 years. Kersey says someone starting CPR before they arrive is crucial.

"Somewhere between four and six minutes they start having brain cell death. Then every minute after that they start to decline more and more," he said.

It's part of his job but it's helpful when everyone knows how to do it. 

Kersey says he's had to perform CPR on his dad before and he is alive today. He said it's a scary feeling but it can happen to anyone.

"Most of the time it's going to be in the neighborhoods, out of the hospitals. It's going to be family and friends," Kersey said.

If someone is in cardiac arrest, you should dial 911 and immediately start CPR.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 70% of out of state hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes.

Someone in cardiac arrest means they are not breathing or they are gasping for air. Kersey recommends you call 911 and start chest compressions.  

In a nationwide survey by the AHA, 31% of people said they were afraid of legal ramifications for CPR. However, the Good Samaritan law will cover you.

"All you've got to do is just do the right thing and do it at the right time and you'll be covered," Kersey said.

He says when people start CPR before he and his team arrives, it makes a difference.

You can go to the AHA website to learn more about CPR and AED week, and where to find CPR certification classes.

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