Citizens learn first aid, home safety

NEGAUNEE — First aid and home safety were the topics of discussion at the Michigan State Police Citizen’s Academy Wednesday morning.

Citizen’s Academy was chock-full of demonstrations as the day started with first aid and scene assessment. Troopers explained that when discovering an accident or a person with an illness or injury, it’s important to call 9-1-1 to get additional help and survey the scene to ensure its safe to get involved.

Academy attendees were taught the ABC’s of resuscitation if they come across an unconscious person, which stand for Airway, Breathing and Circulation. They were also briefed on controlling severe bleeding, recognizing signs of a cardiac emergency and the choking procedure formerly known as the “Heimlich.” In addition to CPR, troopers explained the importance of Automated External Defibrillators, AED’s, and tourniquets and how to use both pieces of equipment.

“We want to make sure our citizens that are in the academy feel comfortable that if they see something, they know what to do,” said Trooper Stacey Rasanen. “We want to make sure that these people can go out and use these tools they have out there to increase saves, to increase somebody’s chances of survival.”

This was not a certified CPR training session, but Trooper Rasanen recommends people go and receive their certification.

“You could be assisting a family member and that’s what you need to think about. It’s not always going to be a stranger-it could be someone that’s at home,” Rasanen said. “What are you going to do? Have a plan so that you can take and immediate response versus being in panic mode.”

MSP troopers, along with other local law enforcement personnel, are certified as low-level first responders in case of emergencies and go through annual recertification within their agencies. Citizens also inquired about good faith statutes and legal repercussions for saving people. The section wrapped up with a few stories from Post Commander First Lieutenant Clint Michelin about overdose deaths and suicide attempts.

The second half of class was spent discussing home invasion and personal safety. Over the last five years, the state of Michigan has shown a decline in burglaries, with and without force. August is the peak month for both incidents, though Trooper Rasanen says there’s no specific reason for this trend. In 2015, nearly 3000 people were arrested for forced-entry burglary, most ranging between 17 and 24 years old. In addition, just over 600 people were arrested for burglary without force.

Trooper Rasanen says the best way to combat and discourage burglaries at your home is actually really simple – keep your doors and windows locked and secured, even when you’re home. Locked entryways can cause a burglar to either move on to the next house or cause enough ruckus to alert you that something is happening.

“We don’t want people to be victims,” Rasanen said. “They’re victimized by people coming into their homes and it’s a total loss for them. We want to make sure our community is safe.”

Troopers also encouraged citizens to write down serial numbers of important objects in order to identify stolen property if it’s later recovered.