Last week, something very fast and loud happened in front of my car on the way back home from LAX airport after being out of the country in Scandinavia for a conference.
It looked like another car had just slammed into a motorcyclist at pretty high speed. My driver pulled our car over to the side of the road so I could get a better look. I indeed spotted a man lying in the middle of the road, it was the motorcycle driver, and his motorcycle was now about half a block up the road. He'd been thrown and skidded down the road quite a distance.
I walked cautiously towards him while dialing 911 , somebody approaching me to my right was also on the line with 911 , so I told them I'll hang up because I now noticed that the man wasn't breathing and I'd make an attempt at resuscitating him.
When you take CPR classes, the interesting part about it is you learn that the tempo of the chest compressions coincides with the mega-hit disco song by the Bee Gees, "Stayin' Alive". After years of practicing to this song, it's hard to forget the tempo, and/or it's hard to confuse it with another song, such as maybe "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summers or "Shake your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Band. Nope, it's the one and only iconic disco era song STAYIN' ALIVE, and how fitting of a message in such a song to try to keep someone among the living.
After about 20 chest compressions, the man gasped and started breathing. I didn't have to blow breath into his mouth, which would have been the next step. (mouth covers that you place on the person are available to keep on your key ring or somewhere handy in case of an emergency like this.)
During all this, another good Samaritan had gotten out of her car and was directing traffic around the accident scene. I thought to myself, "These are Angelenos at their best and demonstrating true teamwork". I am so proud of my fellow L.A. community citizens.
The paramedics then arrived within 5 minutes and took the man away. I hope he's doing ok, but he was very injured without getting into too much detail. (Luckily he had his helmet on, otherwise, I doubt he would have lived.) I then continued...well inched my way back to the valley in typical gridlock style L.A. traffic. (Was I glad to get home and have a hot shower and a tall cold glass of white wine after all that!)
So even if you're not in the health and fitness field, I'd suggest, or even urge you to take a CPR course yourself and consider getting certified in it. The cost is minimal and usually it's just a half-day or full-day class at the most.
Both the Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer classes and certifications. If you're in the Los Angeles area, I'd recommend my private instructor Tali Fefer , who offers private and small group certification in CPR and more.
So let's see you register for a class today, and then get inspired by watching/listening to the Bee Gees "Stayin Alive" video to celebrate your commitment to being ready and available to help others in times of distress.
Bell bottom pants not included.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
Individuals / Groups / Corporate