Government workers recognize heart wellness month


February marks heart disease awareness month and as some Montgomery County workers found out, nothing gets the heart pumping like a flash mob.

Montgomery County employees filled the Executive Office Building nearly head-to-toe in red.

“It’s a campaign, a national campaign, to raise awareness about heart health,” explained wellness program manager for Montgomery County Government, Lilly Rojas.

The Office of Human Resources hosted a wellness fair for dozens of unsuspecting observers when in the midst of the event, firefighters sprang into action.

“It’s scary because you think ‘What happened?’ ‘What can I do?’ and then they showed up with CPR demonstrations,” explained finance department employee for the county government, Patty Richardson.

One-by-one a handful of Montgomery County firefighters performed hands-only CPR for about two minutes, and then looked to others for help keeping the rhythm.

“It was harder than I expected. I was supposed to push harder than I expected so that feel, to actually feel it on a mannequin the pressure, the compression, the ways to do it right to save someone’s life, it was fulfilling but it was nerve-wrecking,” Richardson said.

Capt. Lee Silverman, who leads EMS training for the fire department, says the life-saving measure is an action almost anyone can take.

“We’re just trying to say anywhere in the center of the chest, try to push hard, try to push fast. Get involved, call 9-1-1 and get it started,” Silverman explained.

Organizers say the fair also included active and fun ways to stay heart-healthy, like a spin bike when you can create art as you pedal, and low-carb snack alternatives.

“We put a fun element to it, and especially that social aspect of it. Adapting to healthier habits is much easier when you’re doing it with people that you know and people that are around you,” Rojas said.

Officials say performing CPR can really make a difference in emergency situations.

For more information on the maneuver, visit

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