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Chain of Survival awards Canby Police special designation for their recent help with cardiac victims

Before moving into February and during a torrential rainstorm, Canby Fire went to visit Charity Gales and Kym Akins at Rounders. Each was given a plaque and a coin honoring them for helping save a life. Akins talked to a dispatcher while Gales gave CPR to keep a man alive who'd had a severe heart attack.

"A man and his son were playing a game and the man's son suddenly laid him carefully on the floor," Gales told the Herald. She immediately called 911 and handed the phone to Akins from the Trophy Store next door so that Gales could start CPR since the man didn't appear to be breathing.

Shortly after that Canby Police Officer Michael Manns arrived and continued CPR until the EMTs came and took over. Gales said she thought the paramedics used a machine to shock him but she couldn't remember. He was taken to the hospital and woke up four days later to Gales' surprise on Nov. 26, her birthday. At that point she knew he was going to make it.

I've worked here for eight years," Gales said. "And this is the biggest thing that's ever happened. It's important for all these small businesses to learn CPR so they can be the first responders and save lives.

The awards ceremony continued on Feb. 6 at the Canby Police station when four firefighters, including Chief Jim Davis, handed out four awards to four Canby officers. The four, who also each received a certificate, were honored for their work saving five people out of 12 who suffered heart attacks here in 2019. The four officers are Maria Campos, Michael Manns, Kathryn Mitchell and James Murray.

Chief Smith noted that the five people that were saved allowed Canby a higher average than nationally or county-wide.

"I acknowledge the police for their help in medical emergencies doing CPR until the EMTs get there. Every minute without CPR gives each cardiac victim a 10 percent chance that they won't live," Chief Smith said.

There are a number of methods of starting the chain of survival, Canby Fire Division Chief Matt English said. And, Lieutenant George Tro noted that the emergency will come across on their screen as well as by phone from the dispatcher. The people on these chains work hard to keep people alive.

Finally, everyone with a smart phone can add Smart Pulse to their android or Apple phone. It's a red button that notifies officers and firefighters of an emergency and gets them to the situation quickly.

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