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Mayor Muriel Bowser Honors Hands on Hearts CPR Lifesaver

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined DC Fire & EMS Chief Gregory Dean and Serve DC Director Delano Hunter to honor and recognize more than 20 people who all played a role in saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest inside a Dupont Circle office building on October 7. Less than 24 hours after being trained in the Hands on Hearts CPR program, District resident Danette Purvis performed life-saving, hands-only CPR on the patient.

“I am grateful to FEMS and Serve DC for making DC safer and stronger by training more than 10,000 DC residents in this life-saving technique. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, time is of the essence,” said Mayor Bowser. “Often times, the first responder during a medical emergency is you or me. When more of us know how to do CPR, we can keep more people alive – just like Ms. Purvis was able to do.”

The Hands on Hearts program provides free life-saving, hands-only CPR training to communities across Washington, DC. The initiative was launched by Mayor Bowser in October 2015 with the goal of training 5,000 people by September 2016. Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, and FEMS have trained over 10,000 people in the last 13 months.

Purvis’s Hands on Hearts training took place on October 6 at the Bennett Institute at the request of Serve DC intern Devon Smith, who takes classes there. Purvis, who already holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting, is taking classes at the Bennett Institute in pursuit of a cosmetology license.

Along with Purvis, Mayor Bowser honored two Hands on Hearts trainers, four office workers, one Metropolitan Police Department officer, an office building security officer and 12 members of the DC Fire & EMS Department.

“Here we have an example of a group of colleagues and strangers working together to save a life,” said Chief Dean. “I thank Mayor Bowser for launching the Hands on Hearts CPR Program a year ago and challenging me and our entire department to do all that we can to get as many people trained.”

According to the American Heart Association, “CPR done within five minutes of a person’s collapse combined with professional care can increase survival rates by as much as 50 percent.” Sign on to become a lifesaver, host or attend a Hands on Heart CPR class by visiting handsonhearts.dc.gov