Germantown to earn HeartSafe Community designation; teaches students, workers CPR

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GERMANTOWN -- Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss has a lofty objective.

“My goal is to make Germantown the safest community in the State of Wisconsin," Chief Weiss said.

Hands-only CPR

Sessions like the one Weiss hosted on Wednesday, January 3rd are how that dream becomes a reality. Weiss and other safety officials were at Germantown High School, teaching first aid to more than 200 students.

“Only 2 minutes. You would think it’s not that hard, but doing CPR for 2 minutes straight is really tiring" said Megan French, Germantown senior.

Hands-only CPR

CPR training and how to use a defibrillator are required in Wisconsin high schools by state law, but in the wake of mass shootings around the country, there is a new emphasis on controlling bleeding.

Teaching tourniquet techniques

“When you look at the events that happened in Las Vegas, tourniquets saved people's lives," Weiss said.

"If they can get the bleeding stopped before they go into shock, the survivability rate is 90 percent," said Jake Dettmering, trauma coordinator for the Southeast Regional Trauma Advisory Council.

Students learned how to apply pressure to a wound and stop bleeding with a tourniquet or special gauze that contains a clotting agent.

Teaching tourniquet techniques

“If something tragic like that were to happen, it’d just be great if actual students could help each other out," French said.

Chief Weiss has made sure that every public building in Germantown and vehicle owned by the village is equipped with a bleeding kit.

“So God forbid if our water department is out on the road and they drive up on something, or someone gets hurt, they have the equipment to do something until we get there. That’s why this is so important," Weiss said.

Teaching tourniquet techniques

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“Germantown is the only municipality that I’m aware of in the state where every public employee is going to be trained in this, and now they’re also training the students, which is fantastic for us," Dettmering said.

On January 15th, HeartSafe Wisconsin will designate Germantown as a HeartSafe Community, based on the percentage of the community trained in first aid and the accessibility to defibrillators throughout the village. It will join Cedarburg as the only two places in the state with that designation.

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