by Dan Gibson
TUCSON, March 2, 2011 — The American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter will offer free CPR and first aid training on Saturday, March 19, as part of Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save-a-Life Saturday. Red Cross chapters across the country will hold classes at more than 100 locations across the country to honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and all those involved in the Tucson tragedy.
Classes will be held at six locations across Southern Arizona, in Tucson, Green Valley, Nogales, Sierra Vista, and Douglas, at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m, and one location will also offer a class at 1:00 p.m. Training will last 45 minutes to one hour, and will include instruction in hands-only CPR, controlling external bleeding and managing shock.
“The tragedy in Tucson is a reminder of how important it is for everyone to know first aid and CPR,” said Richard White, Executive Director of the Southern Arizona Red Cross. “As this tragic event unfolded, several bystanders knew these vital skills, which helped save the lives of many victims, including Congresswoman Giffords. This inspired us to offer these trainings right here in our community.”
“Congresswoman Giffords is alive today in part because a heroic individual was trained in basic first aid skills,” said Pia Carusone, the congresswoman’s chief of staff. “Training every American in these critical skills is one of the ways that we can ensure that good can come from the horrific events of January 8. You never know when you too might be in a position to save a life. We are very appreciative of the Red Cross for putting on this inspired event in locations around the country, and we encourage every American to get trained on March 19.”
Although most emergencies are not as large as the one in Tucson, it is important for the public to be prepared for ones that can happen at home, the office or at school. In fact, a Red Cross survey given in 2010 found that one in four people (27 percent) have found themselves in a situation where someone needed CPR. Recent research also shows that if more people learned hands-only CPR, we could increase the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside a hospital by putting more victims within a few steps of lifesaving assistance.
The Red Cross is able to provide this free training through the generous support of Walgreens and Safeway.
Go to RedCrossArizona.org to sign up.