Greensboro, NC -- The Greensboro Fire Department is holding, for the first time, a safety awareness camp for children in the community. Friday is the deadline to sign up for the camp, which will run from 9 am until noon from July 29 through Aug. 2.
Though the camp centers on fire prevention and response protocols, each day will feature a safety advocacy group - certified individuals who will teach seatbelt importance, bicycle safety, railroad safety and CPR training.
Firefighter and paramedic Antwan McCoy, who also is the executive director of Heart Smart Team, Inc., joined WFMY News 2's Good Morning Show team Tuesday to provide viewers a preview of what he will teach at the camp. He demonstrated hands-only CPR, which he affirmed has been proven just as effective as (though not preferred to) CPR involving a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation component. McCoy said if an adult victim has collapsed and is not breathing, first call 911, so a medical responder can be dispatched as quickly as possible. Next, put the heel of your hand directly on the center (between the nipples) of the person's bare chest and clasp your free hand on top of the other. Begin compressions of about 100 beats per second. McCoy suggested humming the Bee Gees song "Staying Alive," which has a melody with a rhythm equal to that of the suggested compression rate.
At the camp, McCoy also will instruct children on the American Heart Association's "Chain of Survival" and how to use AEDs, which will be mandated for all state public schools to have by the year 2015. In accord with the implementation of AEDs, McCoy said CPR training also will become a graduation requirement.
McCoy affirmed 7- to 10-year-olds, the age group the camp is targeting, can and do effectively learn how to perform CPR. He referenced an instance in which a 9-year-old Arizona boy, Tristin Saghin, saved his two-year-old sister's life by using CPR. McCoy said Saghin's sister "was found unconscious and floating in his grandmother's swimming pool. Tristin did CPR while his mother and grandmother called for help. Tristin was even able to do the more complicated version, which includes compressions and mouth-to-mouth breaths, which he had seen on TV."
Greensboro Fire Department Captain Wayne Delancey said the department will teach campers not only what to do in the event of a fire but also how to distinguish flames-a skill the department said can be immensely helpful during fire investigations. As Delancey showed WFMY News 2's Good Morning Show, different household items burn distinctly. Fire investigators, Delancey said, typically ask fire witnesses to describe the color and shape of the flames they saw. Those descriptions can help investigators determine what may have caused the fire.
Delancey also encouraged those who have lost their homes in a fire to search debris for any remaining items. Based on the appearance of those items, particularly metal pieces that have been oxygenated during the fire, investigators can determine where the fire may have started in the home. They also can use any recovered objects as potential evidence in criminal investigations.
Space is limited for the Youth Fire Camp, which costs $50 per child. Applications include a section in which parents can apply for a scholarship for their child.
Though only children ages seven to 10 can participate in the camp, McCoy said the Heart Smart Team, Inc. medical training company on Meadowview Road also offers CPR training for people of all ages.