Local CPR instructor Rob
Kutler is surrounded by attendees at a recent CPR party held at Auriemmo’s
home in Poughkeepsie.
heard of Tupperware parties, Mary Kay parties and Pampered Chef parties, but
did you know you could host your own CPR party right in your living room?
Foundation (which stands for C-CPR, L – learn to float first, A – automated
external defibrillator awareness, and Y – year round, warm-water swim
facilities) offers free, in-home CPR parties for anyone willing to host.
Since summer is here and many of us have pools in our backyards or live
in close proximity to water, I
recently decided to host my own CPR party and invited some of my friends over
to join in.
The course offered
is a one-hour CPR short program designed to give parents and caregivers a
general idea of what to do before the emergency response team arrives. This is
not a certification program. To get officially certified in CPR, you should
contact your local Red Cross.
is free of charge, although they do ask for a suggested donation of $35 per
person, which helps to pay the instructors.
The CLAY Foundation was started by a mom, Laura Metro. Three years ago, her 3-year-old son
Clay had an accident in a pool. Friends were watching the kids and when Laura
returned, she found their son lying on the pool deck, blue and lifeless.
A friend started CPR but was not formally trained in CPR. The paramedics
came, intubated him on the spot and flew them to the hospital. Clay made a full
and miraculous recovery. “The doctors really attributed his life to the
bystanders’ CPR,” says Metro.
Ever since then, Metro has been determined to teach everyone CPR. She asked
herself: “How do I make this easier for moms to get this done?”
Shelby Dutcher of Rock Tavern practices adult
CPR with the help of instructor Rob Kutler.
Most CPR courses are at least 4 hours and cost a lot of money. Many
parents are busy and don’t have the time or money to get CPR certified. That is
when she came up with the idea for CPR parties. They offer a basic course in
CPR, offered in the party style format that we are all familiar with, and are
training people nationwide.
Even though it is not a certification course, it still is valuable
information. When asked about her goals for CLAY, Metro says, “I don’t want
anyone to have to take the helicopter ride I took. We are looking for a sponsor
to help us get to the national level.”
So how do I host a
My first step was to contact CLAY through their website, theclayfoundation.org.
I then received an automated email that explains what to do next. If hosting a
CPR party is what you are interested in, the email will tell you to fill out a
form with your information. Approximately 48 hours later, I was contacted by a
local instructor. We decided on a date and time and it was done. It’s just that
What happens at a CPR party?
instructor, Rob Kutler, arrived with his bags of CPR dolls and other materials.
As everyone arrived, they signed in and I collected donations for Rob. Our
party started with a short infant CPR video. The video lasted about 20 minutes
and demonstrated what to do if an infant is choking or is not breathing and CPR
is needed. We then all had turns practicing on infant CPR dolls.
discussed the difference between adult CPR and choking. He demonstrated on the
adult CPR doll and then we all took turns practicing CPR and the Heimlich
maneuver on the adult CPR doll.
everyone was finished practicing, Rob answered all of our questions and
re-explained or demonstrated anything we did not fully understand.
lasted about an hour and a half. It was a lot of fun and very informative. Everyone
walked away learning something new. “I feel like I learned just as much in that
hour and a half, as I did in the 4 hour re-certification course!” said one of
my guests, Willow Shamson of Kerhonkson.
Who should attend a CPR party?
Anyone who would like to learn the basic life support known as CPR.
Although these parties were designed in response to a child drowning, both
infant/child and adult CPR are taught. You never know when there will be an
emergency — whether it’s with your daughter, your husband, a student or fellow
Those first few minutes before emergency responders arrive can be
critical and mean the difference between life and death. By learning basic CPR,
you could help save a life. Even if you are not certified, knowing the basics
can be critical.
“The only thing you can do wrong, is to not do anything at all,” says
It only takes a second for a tragedy to occur. A CPR party just might be
the most valuable hour of your life.
Kelly Auriemmo is a mom, blogger, and special
education teacher who lives in Poughkeepsie.