CPR, First Aid classes available

By Jim Harris

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt completely powerless to help someone who was in pain or having serious health problems? Do you feel you could have helped that person if you only knew how?

American Red Cross CPR and First Aid classes can give you the knowledge to take action. The DeKalb County chapter of the American Red Cross is offering courses in CPR and First Aid beginning Nov. 30. All courses will be held at the American Red Cross Building in DeKalb at 151 S. Third St.

Nanci Risop, the health and safety coordinator of the chapter, said she encourages people to take the courses offered.

The first course offered, on Nov. 30, is Adult CPR. This course is offered one day only for four hours, from 6 to 10 p.m. This class trains people to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies in adults. CPR techniques are practiced and taught. The fee for the class is $20 a person.

On Dec. 6 and 8, from 6 to 10 p.m., Standard First Aid will be offered. This course provides Adult CPR training, but also teaches how to identify and care for bleeding, illness, and injuries. The fee is $30 a person.

Community CPR is offered on Dec. 14 and 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. This trains people how to use CPR techniques with adults, infants and children. The fee is $33.

Standard First Aid Progression differs from the other courses, as the participants must hold Adult CPR certification. The course teaches Standard First Aid. The fee is $20.

Certification in Adult and Community CPR and certification in First Aid are given to participants at the end of each course. Risop said written tests also are given, but are easy to understand.

The fees, Risop said, cover all the materials and supplies needed in the courses.

According to Risop, sudden deaths from heart attacks are the leading medical emergency in the country and one of the top causes of death. She added half of the 500,000 yearly sudden deaths from heart attacks could have been prevented if the victim or bystanders had recognized the symptoms early enough and activated the Emergency Medical System. This system begins with a call to 911. Each course explains how to use the system.

Another upcoming Red Cross HIV/AIDS education event will be held on Dec. 1, World AIDS day, at the Kishwaukee Community Hospital. The event is in the Murphy A and B rooms of the hospital, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Risop will be there to present the program. The DeKalb Hospice and the DeKalb School District also will be represented. She said this program will present the facts about HIV and AIDS, and will help to inform people and help them take action to protect themselves.

For more information on the courses or the AIDS presentation, call the chapter at 756-7339.