“Go Red” Heart Campaign kicks off with walk to Statehouse, provides tips for CPR and AED use COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Leaders with the City of Columbia and the American Heart Association are kicking off their “Go Red” 2024 Campaign, — and it started with a walk to the Statehouse. Led by City Manager Teresa Wilson, participants made their way down Main Street decked out in red — recognizing February as American Heart Month. Once at the Statehouse, they were reminded of how to have a healthier heart through proper eating and exercise, and were given tips on how to perform CPR — completing 30 chest compressions — two inches deep — and then providing two breaths to the victim. “It’s personally important to me because my family has a history of heart disease. I now have certain risk factors that I’ve been able to mitigate for myself and my family members and I just want to encourage others to do that and be an ambassador,” says Wilson. According to Lizzie Smith with the American Heart Association, a victim’s chance of survival is three times higher when an AED machine is used to jump start a victim’s heart in conjunction with CPR. But studies show that 70% of Americans would feel helpless in the event of an emergency. “Ninety percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are fatal. And we want to make sure that people are armed with the tools, resources, and education on how to perform the life saving steps of CPR and hands-only CPR, so that in the event they’re at home, or at the bank, or the grocery store, they feel empowered and confident to perform those two steps and save a life,” says Smith. She recommends that all work places, schools, and sports facilities have an AED machine on hand. “With just CPR, it is vital and it is important. But, we can’t restart the heart with CPR. We’re just keeping them going until the AED arrives. So the AED is vital — whether it comes from the EMT or it comes from the one in the break room, the AED is what’s going to bring them back to life,” she says. To learn more on how to become trained in completing CPR or how to have an AED machine placed in your facility, visit the American Heart Association’s website here. And next up, the 2024 Midlands Heart Walk will take place on March 23rd at Segra Park.