LEXINGTON, JUNE 5, 2023 — Seven in 10 people in the United States say they feel powerless to act in the face of a cardiac emergency [1]. As a result, less than half of all people across the nation who need this lifesaving skill receive CPR from bystanders before professional help arrives [2]. According to the Lexington Fire Department, the number of people reported as having received CPR before EMS arrives is much lower, coming in at just 15 percent.

The American Heart Association and Lexington Fire Department recently co-funded a project to equip each of Lexington’s 24 fire stations with a new electronic CPR Manikin. Now, during National CPR and AED Awareness Week and Month, they have joined forces to make CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) awareness and education a permanent fixture in Lexington through their newly launched #LEXSaveLives campaign.

#LEXSaveLives challenges Fayette County residents to join the movement to create a Nation of Lifesavers by learning Hands-Only CPR. Beginning June 8, citizens are encouraged to stop by any fire station in Lexington to get hands-on practice in learning Hands-Only CPR, which is CPR without breaths. Science has shown that following a witnessed cardiac arrest of a teen or an adult, Hands-Only CPR can be equally effective in the first few minutes of an emergency response.

“As firefighters, saving lives is at the very core of what we do, and early access to CPR is one of the simplest ways to double or even triple an individual’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest,” Lexington Fire Chief Jason Wells said. “We’re so grateful to the American Heart Association volunteers and staff who have advocated for CPR awareness for many years. Our collective goal is simple – teach as many Lexington residents hands-only CPR as we possibly can to increase the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest for our friends, family, and neighbors. Together we can create a community of lifesavers, and we are proud to be a part of this important initiative!”

“Nearly 70 percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home, which means if you’re called on to perform Hands-Only CPR, you will likely be trying to save the life of a family member or friend,” said Andrea Ooten, Executive Director of the American Heart Association in Central and Eastern Kentucky. “The American Heart Association is thrilled to work alongside the Lexington Fire Department to promote this lifesaving skill and we encourage people of all ages to take advantage of this unique opportunity. You’re never too young to learn and now everyone has access to practice!”

As an added incentive to participate in the campaign, the first 500 people to visit a fire station to learn Hands-Only CPR and share a selfie on social media using the hashtag #LEXSaveLives will receive a free #LEXSaveLives T-shirt.

For businesses or groups of ten or more, the Lexington Fire Department will come to YOU and teach Hands-Only CPR. To schedule a class, visit https://www.lexingtonky.gov/public-education-service-request. For a list of Lexington Fire Station locations, visit www.lexington.gov/fire-station-locations. For more information, visit www.heart.org/lexsavelives.

Additional Resources: 


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century.

For Media Inquiries:
Afton Fairchild; afton.fairchild@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org


[1] 2021 Hands-Only CPR perceptions survey, conducted for AHA https://newsroom.heart.org/news/new-survey-only-6-out-of-10-adults-feel-comfortable-taking-charge-and-giving-cpr

[2] Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2022 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association, Table 19-2 https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001052