The American Heart Association and MEMIC Team Up to Help Mainers Save More Lives

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you know: a spouse, parent, child, friend, or co-worker.

MEMIC is teaming up with the American Heart Association in Maine to encourage workplaces to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and to train employees in CPR on the heels of National CPR and AED week (June 1-7). On Thursday, June 8th from 11 AM until Noon, employers are invited to “AED and CPR Awareness” Day in the MEMIC parking lot at 261 Commercial Street in Portland. This free educational event will demonstrate how AEDs and CPR contribute to workplace safety. Attendees will receive lifesaving tips and information to help keep your employees safe at work and at home with a goal to increase survival from cardiac arrest in Maine.

“Workplace CPR training provides the basic skills to save a life at work or at home which is why MEMIC and the AHA encourage workplaces to train employees on how to do Hands-Only CPR and to also consider having AED s site,” said Randy Klatt, Safety Consultant with MEMIC and a former paramedic.

The Portland Fire Department staff will provide Hands-Only CPR demonstrations and highlight how bystander CPR has improving survival rates locally in recent years. MEMIC representatives will share the importance of AEDs for workplace safety and encourage those who have them to make sure employees know where they are located and that they are working properly.

Cardiac arrest survivors saved with AEDs will share their stories of survival. Phil Napolitano was saved by AED at Yarmouth Middle School after he collapsed playing basketball. Rita Zanichkowsky suffered a cardiac arrest at her former employer who had an AED and team trained to keep her alive until EMS arrived.

According to the AHA, survival rates drop as much as 10% for every minute that goes by without bystander CPR. In Maine’s rural communities, CPR is even more critical to a victim’s chances of survival. Only 41 percent of people who experience a cardiac arrest at home, work or in public get the immediate help they need. An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially stop an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. If not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death.

If unable to attend the June 8th event, the AHA encourages everyone to take just one minute to watch a Hands-Only CPR video at to learn the two simple steps of Hands-Only™ CPR any day during National CPR and AED Week from June 1 through 7. Then, share the link with family and friends, and ask them to learn CPR.


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