Myrtle Beach Fire Department urges community to learn CPR after record-breaking year

Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 3:29 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Just one week ago, a pickleball player went into cardiac arrest at the John T. Rhodes Sports Center in Myrtle Beach.

First responders said this person survived because of bystanders who knew exactly what to do, and that included CPR.

“One of them being one of our off-duty firefighters,” said Capt. Jon Evans with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department. “They all jumped in and did CPR and they knew where the AED was and they were able to hook that up to this person. Thankfully, due to their quick thinking and getting them to the hospital quickly, this person is alive today and looking to get discharged shortly.”

Evans said this is just one example of why people need to be trained for life-saving techniques like compression CPR.

He added that learning CPR is critical after the Myrtle Beach Fire Department had a record-breaking year in 2021. The department responded to nearly 16,000 calls for service, and the majority of those calls were medical-related. He said it’s important for people to know how to perform life-saving techniques before first responders arrive on the scene.

“I think when people think of CPR, they think I have to do compressions and breaths, they get a little worried, especially with COVID. You don’t want [mouth contact]. What we really are trying to push is the compression CPR. And show just by doing compressions, you’re pushing enough oxygen through that body to keep them alive or sustain them until medical crews get there to start those advanced life-saving activities.”

And for responders, time is of the essence. Evans said the seconds after a person stops breathing and no longer has a pulse is critical.

“We have what’s called the ‘Golden Hour,’” Evans said. “That’s from the time a person has a medical emergency until the time they’re in the cath lab in the hospital. You want it to be less than an hour. It gives them a much better chance of surviving. It all depends on what issue that person’s having as to their survivability. A lot of times with a heart attack, if you can keep that heart moving, blood pumping, and oxygen moving through their body, they’ll have a much more successful rate of survival.”

Evans added that the first thing a person must do when a medical emergency does occur is call 911, so responders can make their way to the scene.

Evans said anyone seeking more information about compression CPR training should email the department at

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