MOUNT VERNON — According to Keith Hughes of the Knox County Chapter of the American Red Cross, CPR is not just an important skill for emergency workers, but for everyone.
“I would love to see more and more people do it,” Hughes, who has taught CPR for 18 years, said of the frequent CPR classes offered in Knox County.
Hughes said people may not realize the class takes only one evening or one Saturday.
“They don’t realize it really doesn’t take a whole lot of time to learn,” Hughes said. “And you really can save someone’s life.”
The Red Cross offers at least two classes each month, according to Hughes, one on a Saturday, the other on a Thursday evening. He said the Saturday classes can also include first aid and infant and child CPR.
A nominal fee for instruction books and processing is charged, but Hughes said the fee should not hold people back from signing up for the classes.
“If people can’t afford the cost, we work with people on that,” he said.
Some of the CPR classes also cover the use of automatic external defibrillators, which are now found in many public places, including some schools and county buildings in Knox County. AEDs can be used by a trained lay person or emergency worker to defibrillate a patient experiencing certain cardiac emergencies.
College Township Fire Chief Bill Smith said the newer CPR protocol for lay people, which involves only chest compressions and no mouth to mouth breathing, is easier for people to learn.
“As long as you’re doing the chest compressions and doing them right, the difference it makes before we get there, is it can save a life,” Smith said.
Hughes said he would like to see more coaches, parents and others in the community take a few hours to learn CPR. Smith agreed.
“There’s things everybody can learn that can save a life,” said Smith.
For more information about CPR classes offered by the Red Cross, call 397-6300.