Village of Villa Park
May 19, 2015

Villa Park Citizens Fire Academy teaches more than fire safety

Villa Park Citizens Fire Academy participants learn CPR
Lt. Mike Barton teaches Villa Park Citizens Fire Academy participants CPR.

Greetings, Villa Park!


For the past two weeks, Citizens Fire Academy (CFA) participants have taken a break from suiting up in full bunker gear to learn CPR and discuss first aid.

While breathing through masks, wearing firefighter helmets and crawling through clouds of smoke is undoubtedly an opportunity few besides the professionals get to experience, CPR is a lifesaving skill everyone should know.

Lt. Mike Barton led our class for the past two weeks. If you weren't aware, all Villa Park Fire Department members are required to be licensed paramedics. Members of the Villa Park Fire Department attended the first Loyola Paramedic Program in 1975.

While we weren't gearing up during CFA these past couple of weeks, the CPR certification class we completed included a lot of hands-on learning. Many people take CPR classes because their job requires it or they simply wish to be prepared in case of an emergency. I, however, had never taken one. What surprised me most was how tiring it could be. We didn't do enough repetitions to exhaust me, but after just two minutes, I realized how challenging it would be to continue the cycle of chest compressions and breaths for several minutes.

We didn't complete a first aid certification course, but we did learn a lot about first aid and the advancements that have been made since triage was first used as a sorting process for the wounded by Napoleon’s Surgeon in Chief, Dominique Jean Larrey.

I learned many skills I’m happy to know, but hope I never have to use including not only CPR, but also how to recognize the signs of a heart attack and stroke as well as how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). I won’t share too much because I am not a doctor or licensed paramedic. Instead, I highly recommend everyone take advantage of the CPR and first aid classes the Fire Department provides. You can get more information on the Villa Park Fire Department website or sign up for future classes here.

This week we’re going to gear up and experience a real fire! I've been told the room we’ll be in will reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and even higher temperatures at the ceiling. I’ll fill you in next week!

Until then,



Mari Grigaliunas
Village of Villa Park
Public Information Officer
Office: 630-592-6082

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