Big Turn Out for Red Cross “Save A Life Saturday”

Photos and story by Anne Florenzano, Red Cross Volunteer

Phyllis Skinner (l) and Kenny Jackson (r) practice how to treat wounds at a Save A Life Saturday CPR class in Minneapolis. Photo credit: Anne Florenzano/American Red Cross

Over a hundred and fifty people signed up to get free, hands-on CPR training at the Twin Cities, Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross on Saturday, March 19. They were participants in the national Red Cross “Save a Life Saturday” event held in honor of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Just over a month ago, the events that unfolded in Arizona reminded the nation of the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency. Many of the bystanders knew CPR and first aid and were able to save the lives of several victims, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who received help from her intern Daniel Hernandez.

Instructor Christen Asher reminds volunteers at a Save A Life Saturday CPR class to compress the chest 2 inches when doing CPR, and to keep an even rhythm. Photo credit: Anne Florenzano/American Red Cross

In honor of those lifesaving efforts, the Red Cross provided fast and easy classes in more than 100 locations across the country to teach the basics of hands-only CPR, the treatment of shock and how to treat wounds. The classes were shortened versions of Red Cross training courses, lasting approximately 45 minutes in sessions offered all day. The courses were offered free of charge through the generosity of sponsors Safeway and Walgreens.

Kenny Jackson and Phyllis Skinner were two participants who attended a morning session in Minneapolis, and are pictured here practicing how to treat wounds. Phyllis, a retired nurse, babysits her grandchildren a lot and wanted a refresher on CPR.

“It’s been a while,” says Phyllis, “and I want to feel confident if I ever need to use it.”

Kenny spends a lot of time at his lake place in the summer.

Instructor Tasha Nembhard goes over the basics of responding in an emergency situation with participants in a Save A Life Saturday CPR session. Photo credit: Anne Florenzano/American Red Cross

“I’m up at the lake every weekend I can from springtime on. I wanted some emergency training in case something happens. When I’m at the lake there often are not a lot of people around, and I want to be prepared,” says Kenny.

Regardless of the reason, many who attended Save-a-Life day in Minneapolis took will be better prepared if someone in an emergency needs help. If you could not make these introductory classes, click here to sign up for one of the many Health and Safety courses provided by the Twin Cities Red Cross. You can also click here to find video instruction on hands-only CPR, controlling external bleeding, and managing shock.

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