ARC to host training opportunities

FLINT — The American Red Cross Genesee-Lapeer Chapter will offer free CPR and first aid training on March 19, as part of Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Savea Life Saturday.

Classes will be held at the Flint Chapter from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Training will last 45 minutes to one hour, and will include instruction in hands-only CPR, controlling external bleeding and managing shock. A complete list of communities participating in the event found on the event website at

“The tragedy in Tucson is a reminder of how important it is for everyone to know first aid and CPR,” said Kenneth E. Vavra, Executive Director. “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 this training right here in our community.”

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.

“Some of our health care professionals saw first-hand during the Tucson tragedy the value of knowing CPR,” said Greg Wasson, Walgreens President and CEO. “This is invaluable and important training that we’re proud to help provide in partnership with the American Red Cross and in honor of Rep. Giffords as she continues her recovery. Every person trained is a potential life-saver.”

Also on March 19, the Red Cross is premiering a special set of videos to teach CPR and first aid skills. Those unable to attend a Save-a-Life Saturday event can also visit to see lifesaving skills being taught. The public can also contact the chapter to find out when full CPR and first aid classes are offered at other times. — G.G.

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