Red Cross to provide special CPR sessions

The Callaway County Unit of the American Red Cross is sponsoring 24 Hours of Adult CPR Training, an event aimed at preparing community members to respond to emergency situations.

Classes will be held every three hours at the John C. Harris Community Center starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 25, with the last session at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26; 11 sessions in all.

Anne Johnson, Callaway County Red Cross director, said the price for adult CPR training is typically $50, but this 24-hour event is $10 per participant.

The local Red Cross offers one to two classes each month, but Johnson says this event is special because of the decreased cost for enrollment and the convenient hours, appealing to students and youth groups.

“It might be fun to do an overnight event and have them come out and be a part of it,” said Johnson.

Johnson said she chose to host this event, because March is “Red Cross Month” and a good time to help promote the importance of life-saving skills. She also said she hopes it will help make the community safer.

“This is a way we thought we could give back to a community who so generously supports us,” Johnson said.

One of those supporters is Sara Winingear, a Health and Safety Instructor for the Red Cross for more than 20 years.

“I will be instructing and teaching CPR. It is hands-on, totally involved, four hours of training and education,” Winingear said.

The training includes information about disaster preparedness and instruction on abdominal thrust, automatic electric defibrillator use, and mouth-to-mouth resuscitating.

Winingear says participants “will get great training, and they will walk away with the understanding that they can help someone in need.”

Enrollees should expect to demonstrate life-saving skills on practice mannequins and pass a written exam to receive CPR certification.

Gaby Deimeke, 16, is CPR and first aide certified.

“My brother and I got trained at the same time. We just felt like if there was ever a situation, we would help and we would know what to do,” Deimeke said.

Deimeke has been a volunteer with the Red Cross since May 2010.

She and her brother, Ethan, 12, have been working on the T-shirts for the 24-hour training program and have luckily not yet had to use their emergency skills.

“Our role in the event is going to be just helping in any way they need us to help, whether it's food prep or T-shirts or registration,” Deimeke said.

She suggests youth take the time to enroll in the course saying, “it doesn't take a lot of time and they teach it to you so it's easy to comprehend. You get to practice so you know how to use it. It's so easy to do, but it could be life or death for somebody. You could be saving somebody's life.”

The minimum class size is 10 people and the maximum is 30 people. Minimum age to participate is 15 and registration prior to the event is encouraged.

For more information, contact the Callaway Red Cross office at (573) 642-3776.

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