OLATHE, Kan. -- Johnson County Med-Act tracks every cardiac arrest call. They log whether or not a bystander performed CPR, or if an AED (automatic external defibrillator) was used. Right now, it's only 19 percent of the time compared to the national average of 32 percent.
"Doing any kind of CPR is better than doing nothing," said Johnson County Med-Act public information officer Angela Fera said.
Fera says these days CPR is easier than ever. It's all about the hands.
"You don't have to be certified to save someone's life. You can do hands-only compressions and learn how in about five minutes" Fera explained.
That short proof of time can be life-saving, but Fera says the number of people who jump in isn't as high as first responders would like.
"We think people are afraid of doing harm to the patient, so we try to tell them any CPR is better than none," she said.
Also, gone are the days of mouth-to-mouth on teens and adults. Compression only is all that's needed, but it needs to happen fast.
"If you think about the five or six minutes it takes for an ambulance to get there, that's 50-60 percent less of survival for that patient, so every compression makes a difference," Fera said.
Med-Act is hoping its new HeartSafe program will encourage and empower more people to step in, you can learn more at this link.