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Mayor Bowser Announces More Than 30,000 Trained Through Hands on Hearts CPR Program

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Today, at the H Street Festival, Mayor Bowser announced that more than 30,000 people in Washington, DC have been trained through the Administration’s Hands on Hearts CPR program. The Mayor was joined by Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) Chief Gregory Dean, Serve DC Director Delano Hunter, H Street Festival Director Anwar Saleem, and community members.

“This brief training can mean the difference between life and death for a friend, family member, or stranger who needs care before emergency medical services are able to respond,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today, because of Hands on Hearts, we have 30,000 people – people like Tylan Pendergast – who are able to step up and help save a life during a cardiac emergency.”

The Hands On Hearts program provides free life-saving, hands-only CPR training to people across the city. The initiative was launched by Mayor Bowser in October 2015 with the goal of training 5,000 people in a year. By working with Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, FEMS more than doubled the Mayor’s goal during the first year of the program.  

While highlighting the success of the Hands on Hearts CPR training program, Mayor Bowser recognized Elizabeth Castro, the 30,000th person trained in the program. Mayor Bowser also recognized Jessica and Tylan Pendergast, parents of six-year-old Wisdom Pendergast who went into cardiac arrest earlier this summer. Wisdom’s father, Tylan, initiated CPR on his son until first responders arrived.

“When it comes to those that are in cardiac arrest, Hands on Hearts CPR can mean the difference between life and death. When seconds matter, we need you to provide us with a head start, and together, we can continue to save lives in the District,” said Chief Dean.

Last October, the Mayor honored more than 20 people who played a role in saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest inside a Dupont Circle office building. One of the honorees, District resident Danette Purvis, performed life-saving, hands-only CPR on the patient less than 24 hours after being trained in the Hands on Hearts program.

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.”

Residents can sign on to become a lifesaver at