Brooke Oberg, of Grosse Pointe Woods, practices CPR on a baby mannequin in the city’s CPR and AED class April 8.

Brooke Oberg, of Grosse Pointe Woods, practices CPR on a baby mannequin in the city’s CPR and AED class April 8.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Learn CPR as classes continue in Grosse Pointe Woods

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 17, 2019

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — On Christmas morning in 2015, Grosse Pointe Woods Detective Ryan Schroerlucke and his wife were taking their 1-month-old daughter, Cora, who was fighting a bad cold, to the emergency room.

En route to the hospital, Cora stopped breathing and turned blue. Schroerlucke’s wife immediately pulled the infant out of the car seat, performed CPR and saved her daughter’s life.

“She is still with us today,” Schroerlucke said of the now 3-year-old, who had respiratory syncytial virus, spent five days on life support at Children’s Hospital in Detroit and completely recovered.

After the frightening incident, Schroerlucke — who has two other children — made arrangements to bring the American Heart Association’s basic life support class to Grosse Pointe Woods. The four-hour class, which teaches CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, is open to Grosse Pointe Woods residents and employees who work in the city.

Several classes are being offered this spring. The latest course was held April 8 at the Cook Schoolhouse. The classes were supposed to be held inside the community center, but because of a recent flood at the City Hall municipal building, the program was moved to the schoolhouse. Assisting with the class last Monday evening was Grosse Pointe Woods Sgt. Matt Muzia.

Part of the evening was spent on instruction, while the other part included hands-on practice in which the students worked on four adult and four infant mannequins. The participants also took a test at the end of class.

The course objectives included recognizing the signs of someone needing CPR; what to do if the airway is obstructed; choking relief for adults, children and infants; roles during a resuscitation attempt; when or if to move a person; ventilation techniques; opioid-associated life-threatening emergencies; and rescue breathing.

Before any basic life support is administered, Schroerlucke said to always verify that the scene is safe.

“We want to make sure you don’t become a victim yourself,” he said. “You always want to be aware of your surroundings.”

Early in the class,  the students learned how to assess breathing and pulse. Participants also were taught various lifesaving procedures, including chest compression techniques. According to the class outline, “Each time you stop compression, blood flow to the heart and brain decrease significantly; it takes several compressions to increase blood flow back to the levels present before the interruption.”

Schroerlucke reminded the students that someone they work on could have a communicable disease, which could put them at risk.

“You have to choose if you want to do mouth-to-mouth,” he said. “That’s a decision you have to make.”

Mary Lou Regan, who recently retired, was among the Grosse Pointe Woods residents at the April 8 class. She has four grandchildren — ages 6 months, 15 months, 2 and 4 — whom she babysits at different times. She thought the class would be worthwhile, especially for the times when she is caring for her grandchildren.

“I feel really good about it, and I’m looking forward to learning all of this,” she said.

Resident Melissa Zwicker also enrolled in the class. The retired nurse knows CPR and even performed it twice when working in the medical field. She wanted to take a refresher course because she has six grandchildren between the ages of 3 and 8, and she’s also caring for her 91-year-old father.

Brooke Oberg and her 14-year-old son, Jadon, signed up for the class as well. Oberg said she thought the class would be valuable and practical. While she was familiar with CPR, she said she “didn’t know the specifics,” so she wanted to give the class a try.

Upcoming dates and times for the class are 6-10 p.m. April 29, and 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. May 4. The class fee is $5 per person, and the money goes directly to the American Heart Association. That is what the AHA charges, and the fee includes receiving the certification card upon completion. To enroll, participants must be at least 12 years old by the date of the class selected. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Upon registration, participants must include their name, address, phone number and email address. Participants receive a certificate upon successful completion of the training. Additional classes are planned for the fall. The classes will continue “as long as the interest is still there,” Schroerlucke said.

Register in person at the Grosse Pointe Woods Community Center, located in the City Hall complex at 20025 Mack Plaza Drive, or online at recweb.gpwmi.us. Use the temporary entrance set up because of the flood.

For questions on the class, contact Schroerlucke at (313) 343-2412 or at rschroerlucke@gpwmi.us.