OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — It’s National CPR and AED Awareness Week, an observance built around saving lives.

One KC metro response agency boasts an unusually high save rate, returning patients who’ve needed emergency resuscitation to normal lives. The Overland Park Fire Department reports a 42% success rate, which is higher than the 30% national average. 

The only thing Brian Temple remembers is going to work at the golf course that fateful day.

Temple, who has worked at St. Andrews Golf Course in Overland Park for 29 years, recalled the moment where he went into cardiac arrest and fell face first into the tall grass he was trimming. Two co-workers spotted him, and immediately performed CPR, compressing Temple’s chest and using a defibrillator to revive him.

“By the time the ambulance arrived, I wasn’t unresponsive anymore. I was responsive. I was asking, ‘What’s going on? Where’s my shirt?’” Temple said.

EMS workers took over from there, getting Temple to a nearby emergency room. 

Temple’s story is one of many the Overland Park Fire Department is celebrating. The agency’s high save rate might be so impressive, according to OPFD training coordinator Jay Hall, because so many people from the community are interested to learn emergency live saving skills.

“We give them every chance to walk out of the hospital and maintain and resume a normal life,” Hall said. “The brain cells start to die in four to six minutes. If we can bridge the gap between when we get on scene and the time that a person arrests, we can have a good outcome for those patients.”

Many patients who’ve received CPR suffer long-term effects from their conditions. Overland Park Fire said 15 patients they resuscitated last year went on to live without any after effects whatsoever, which means they did their job in helping patients survive. 

You can learn more about opportunities to learn CPR from the city of Overland Park here.