My name is Bryan Platz. I’m a 9-year veteran of the US Air Force, a police officer since 2000 and I have saved lives using nothing more than my hands and an AED.
As a Police Officer, I have responded to many sudden cardiac arrests. As a first responder, I see cardiac arrest in its rawest form, the first few minutes. I understand the chaos and terror that families, co-workers, teammates and friends experience when they see a loved one die. While there is no replacement for experience, I believe proper, no nonsense training will enable bystanders to push through their fears, take immediate action and save lives by using nothing more than the tools that equip this police officer, my hands and an AED.
As a CPR/AED instructor, my training style is designed to empower and inspire students to overcome their fear and take immediate action in those first few critical minutes of cardiac arrest. My mission is to change people’s mindset from fear and self-doubt to a confident rescuer who takes immediate action. Over the course of my career I have learned that lay rescuer CPR skills are never the problem, it’s the self-doubt and fear that paralyzes them to take action. My philosophy for lay rescuers is simple, “Don’t wait for the help…be the help.”
I became an AFA sales rep in 2013, a year after Heart Safe Coon Rapids was designated. With Paul Mendoza as my co-chair, we grass-rooted Heart Safe Communities program in my community, Coon Rapids. Heart Safe Coon Rapids has been a huge success. We have trained over 20,000 Anoka County residents and placed over 150 AED’s. The crowning achievement is that six lives have been saved by people who have taken our training. Heart Safe Coon Rapids is now an internationally recognized. In 2015 I was invited by a group from England to establish Heart Safe Bystander CPR program there, which became England’s first Heart Safe Community. I return there each year to continue to build their program.
As a member of the AFA team, my goal is to change people’s mindset in this time of crisis. By training able-rescuers to be confident and to act, we can change the culture and save more lives.
I’ll preach my message to anyone who will listen, through many channels. I serve on the State of Minnesota’s Heart Safe Advisory Committee, the Take Heart America National Science & Industry Advisory Committee, and Co-Chair of Take Heart America’s National Community Site Collaborative. Just recently, I was interviewed with National Public Radios “Story Corps” on the success of the training I conduct and my methods of training. That story has been preserved in the National Archives at the Library of congress.