My last semester at college I enrolled in a CPR course, not because I thought I could save a life, or because I thought that I it would be a useful tool. I needed two credit hours to fulfill my undergraduate degree and thought of no better way to fulfill them then by taking a “blow-off” course. What is easier than a two-hour CPR/ AED class, to finish up college? It wasn’t until half-way through the course when I realized the use that would come from this class, besides simply fulfilling class credit.
I remember distinctly the moment I realized this class should not only be mandatory for students, but a class that everyone should take at some point in their life. It was a Tuesday in class when we were told we were going to learn about Infant and Child CPR. I quickly remembered a day when my 18-month old nephew was eating a piece of candy and began to choke. His face looked panicked and he could not whisper even a sound. I had no idea what to do. I had never taken a CPR, First Aid, AED or similar course. My only nephew was choking and I could not help. This is a fear I hope no one has to ever feel. Luckily, he began coughing on his own and was able to cough up this candy. While my nephew was perfectly fine, walking away as nothing had ever happened, I felt a sense of terror. I was left wondering, if something had happened, would I have been able to help?
CPR is not a class that should be taken lightly. It is a class that may help you save a life. If I had taken a class sooner I may have been able to help my nephew, and I wouldn’t have been left wondering ‘what if something happened?’ Taking a CPR or AED class could help you save your father, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor, stranger or even your own life.
Irving Ibarez, a local Chicago hero, utilized the skills and knowledge he learned at an American Red Cross CPR class, and saved his co-worker, Chuck Wendt’s, life. Without Irving, the doctors said Chuck would not have survived. Read more about Irving’s story here.
This week (June 1 – 7) is second annual National CPR/AED Awareness Week, and the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago wants to provide the community with the knowledge and skills to respond to a life-threatening situation. Red Cross is offering the community FREE AED training with the purchase of any CPR class for the entire month of June. Read more about our CPR and AED classes to discover how you can learn the necessary skills to save someone’s life.
To learn more or sign up for a CPR course, contact the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago at (800) 33-SAFETY or visit http://www.chicagoredcross.org/.