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Station personnel learn to save lives

By Cpl. Natasha S. Rawls | | June 17, 2005

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Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Fire Department personnel held  their first Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation class at the station Community Center from 4-8 p.m. Friday.

Station military and civilian personnel and families were invited to learn basic CPR techniques and resuscitation skills. Those who attended the free class learned techniques for adults, children and infants.

The class began with an introduction to CPR and several instruction and information videos, followed by a hands-on instruction period. The students learned how and when to administer CPR and the class covered basic heart failure information. At the end of the class students were tested on applying the technique on CPR dummies and given a multiple choice exam.

Michael Batson, station fire department assistant training chief, said the purpose of the class was to teach as many people in the community CPR as possible; to increase the chances of a bystander knowing the techniques and performing them before the fire department arrives. 

"Our goal is to get out into the community on station to teach CPR and enable a bystander to help someone in trouble, which gives us a better chance to help them and save their lives," said Batson. "This course is specifically designed for the general public. The idea is to get as many people here certified in CPR as possible."

Batson said there have been many situations on station where a casualty needed CPR and a bystander was able to perform it. He said the fire department's goal is to ensure this good trend continues.

Batson said after this first class, the station fire department intends to hold a CPR class once each quarter.

Ruben Pena, hazardous material supply control point technician, said he decided to take the course as a refresher to previous training he received as a hospital corpsman.

"There is a lot of good information in the class," said Pena. "It is important to know CPR because it could possibly save someone's life someday."

Anthony Garcia, station gym youth sports director, also took the class as a refresher, but he is required to keep his skills sharp for his job working with children.

Garcia's training in CPR and basic first aid techniques enable him to provide a safer environment for the children he works with, he said.

"These classes are important for everyone, because there are always a few minutes between when a person goes down and the fire truck or ambulance arrives," said Michael Barry, fire fighter and paramedic, MCASFD. "What they do in that time is the most important, and can mean life and death."

For more information about up-coming classes call 269-3592.
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