Potential CPR instructors train to teach others

By Nina Gougis

Saving lives is something Rockford resident Carol Ayars has always dreamed of doing – a dream she carried with her as she entered nursing school.

Her plans of becoming a nurse were cut short after she had severe allergic reactions to iodine during her first year of nursing school.

Fourteen years later, she still is determined to fulfill her dream by serving as an instructor trainer for the Rock River chapter of the Red Cross.

“This is my way to help nurses by teaching people how to prevent emergency situations,” Ayars said.

Ayars will be teaching the “fundamentals of instructor training” course for the DeKalb County chapter. The three-day course will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 11 and 25 and Oct. 9.

Those enrolled in the course will learn how to train others in adult, child and infant CPR and first aid. Students also will learn how to use and teach others in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator, a device that detects cardiac dysfunction and delivers corrective jolts of electricity.

Todd Mikesell, services coordinator for the DeKalb chapter, said the course is important because it can help attract more college students as volunteers in the future.

“If we can get more student volunteers, we will be able to provide more classes in the community,” Mikesell said.

Although Mikesell recommends anyone interested in instructor training first take basic adult, child and infant CPR and first aid courses, he said the instructor training classes are open to everyone.

Senior communication major Bryan Black said he chose to intern at Red Cross to develop his communication skills. Black said he has enjoyed speaking about CPR and fire emergency procedures and would recommend becoming a Red Cross volunteer to others.

Ayars said learning emergency procedures such as CPR is important because cardiac arrest is likely to affect someone close to students.

“Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for those over 45,” Ayars said. “That might not affect students directly, but it does affect those around them, like their parents and teachers.”

Recruiting high school and college students is especially important because they will be more likely to remain volunteers later in life, Ayars said.

For more information on registering for the course, contact Todd Mikesell at 756-7339. There is a one-time $120 fee for the course.