On July 23, 2022, Hsi Lai Girl Scout Troop 18894 learned how to help and save lives, earned a CPR/First Aid Certificate and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Certificate. This amazing day of learning was their first reunion on temple grounds since COVID hit. Instructor Cipriano Castellano, a retired fireman who served 44 years with the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), guided the 12 girl scouts through numerous crucial topics regarding how to assist in a medical emergency before help arrives, which include applying first aid techniques including CPR, emergency treatment for a choking victim—whether an adult, child, or infant—what to do if they become unconscious, how to use an AED, treatment for hyperthermic and hypothermic individuals, treating lacerations, burns, anaphylactic shock, how to make and apply slings and splints, and treatment for gunshot victims.
Castellano began by teaching what to do if you find a non-responsive individual. Details such as checking for a pulse and assessing breathing, doing chest compressions for two minutes before calling 911 (if unwitnessed), the ratio for chest compressions (every 30 chest compressions/2 breaths), the rate of chest compressions (100-120 compressions a minute), and how to properly dial 911 for help (state story of individual, then location) were all taught. Everyone was given opportunities to practice their newly acquired skills and knowledge, which boosted their confidence while performing chest compressions on—adult, children, and infant—CPR dummies. Two girls actually used the AED—a sophisticated device used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest—which analyzes the heart’s rhythm and which gives instructions when to do chest compressions and when to stop, allowing the machine to deliver an electric shock to the victim if necessary.
After all 12 scouts received their CPR/First Aid Certificate and their AED Certificate, they were treated with a well-deserved and delicious lunch made by the temple’s kitchen. Throughout the event, the girls stayed on their toes and learned many important courses of action that are necessary to improve a victim's chance of survival. They learned the extreme significance of thinking and displaying a positive, calm response to an injury or illness when someone is in need of help.