Petaluma Fire Captain Dan Farren and his wife, Sue Farren, were at their son's baseball game Sunday afternoon in Rohnert Park, when an 8-year-old teammate of their son's was struck in the chest with a baseball pitch and collapsed on his way to first base.
Fortunately for young Matthew Henry, who went into both respiratory and cardiac arrest, Farren and his wife sprang into action, began performing CPR and were able to keep his heart going until paramedics arrived about six minutes later with a defibrillator.
Henry was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial, and later onto Oakland Children's Hospital, where he remains in stable condition under observation.
Dan and Sue Farren are both trained paramedics who say they want this event to highlight the need for the public to be properly trained in CPR.
"It's a perfect example of exactly why people need to be trained," said Dan Farren.
Farren stressed that knowing CPR is a vital skill for everyone to possess, since anyone can need the service at any time. "If you're trained when it happens, you'll be ready for it," Farren said. "Most people get trained in CPR and never have to use it, but I think this little kid is pretty happy that someone present knew how to help him."
The Petaluma Fire Department, along with the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class, will be providing "hands-only' CPR training this spring and summer at Casa Grande, Petaluma, San Antonio and St. Vincent's High Schools, as well as at other community events throughout the year. They will be at the Butter and Egg Days Parade in front of the downtown fire station at 198 D St. in Petaluma.
For more information on "hands-only" CPR visit www.heart.org/handsonlycpr and cityofpetaluma.net/firedept/ems.html.