Hoover Police to learn CPR

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Hoover police officers are being trained to administer CPR. They will now assist the fire department with cardiac arrest calls.

With this new approach, both departments think they can quicken response time and save lives.

All Hoover patrol officers and school resource officers were trained.

They participated in numerous drills that allowed them to practice their skills.

Officers say it is an important skill to have.

"If you can get in and work on them until medics get there, what little you do could save that person's life," said Hoover School Resource Officer Chris Cochran.

Hoover EMS Officer, Rusty Lowe, said this new team approach will ensure the closest trained person gets to the scene. And when seconds count, that can make a big difference.

"It makes us easier on our guys if we arrive on the scene and the trained person is already doing CPR," said Lowe, "We can take over and begin advanced treatment. Some studies show CPR before advanced treatment increases a patient's chance of survival."

In the past, only fire and rescue works would go out on cardiac arrest calls, but now with the help of police officers both departments think the entire community will benefit.

"The bottom line is this is about public safety for our citizens," said Hoover Police's Capt. Jim Coker. "In this case we are blurring the line a little. Fire and police will work together."

The program goes into effect immediately.