Class teaches Ozark Countians CPR and other ways to save a life
A large crowd gathered at The Center in Gainesville Thursday evening to learn CPR lifesaving skills and drowning prevention. New and long-time parents, grandparents, babysitters, co-workers, caregivers and others interested in learning how to save a life were among those taking advantage of the free class organized by Ozark County Ambulance administrator Stacy Raney with help from Ozark County emergency management director Steve Ator.
“I was impressed that there were that many people who were interested in learning CPR,” Raney said.
“I had needed a refresher course for years, so it was wonderful that a class was offered locally,” said Renee Schmucker of Gainesville. “A lot of things had changed, and now I feel more competent.”
The evening began with a video presentation on drowning prevention given by Air Evac 12 lead pilot Troy Patrick of Mountain Home, Arkansas. Next was the Family & Friends CPR class, developed by the American Heart Association and led by Air Evac 12 director Lacey Robb, also of Mountain Home. In addition to leading the training, Air Evac held a drawing and gave away a one-year membership, won by Jeannine Kruszewski.
The class, developed for people who do not need a CPR course completion card to meet a job requirement, covered CPR and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) for adults, children and infants.(In Gainesville, AEDs are located in the courthouse, the Ozark County Health Department, the Missouri Ozarks Community Health clinic and The Center.) The class also taught participants how to help a choking adult, child or infant.
Everyone attending the class had the opportunity to practice on simulator mannequins until they felt comfortable with what they had learned.”It was a very informative class that covered the important steps to take if someone is in distress,” said Kerrie Zubrod, who attended the class along with co-workers from Century Bank of the Ozarks. “The hands-on practice with the ‘dummies’ was extremely helpful as well.”
Jabet Wade of Pontiac said, as a mom, she was especially thankful to know CPR. “I really did not understand what CPR actually is before taking the class,” she said. “I hope I never have to use it, but now I feel that if I’m in a situation where CPR is needed, I would be able to do it or at least assist someone..”
The idea for the class came about after a story in the Times reported a near-drowning incident that almost took the life of a 1-year-old Tecumseh-area toddler. Ator and Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper John Roberts happened to be close to the toddler’s home when the emergency call went out, and they were able to revive the baby, who then was taken by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and then was flown to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. The youngster has now recovered.
A CPR class for those who need certification is being planned for early next year.