By: Nashika Stanbro
Edited by: Nancy Waddell
On April 14, the American Red Cross joined forces with Premera Blue Cross to provide free, life-saving hands-only CPR training.
The event took place on the Edmonds Community College campus, where Red Cross volunteers received a helping hand from several enthusiastic student volunteers.
Vyvy Mai, an Edmonds CC nursing student, decided to volunteer for the event because she was already certified in CPR and wanted to offer assistance to the instructor. “I like helping people learn,” Mai said. “I feel like everybody should be responsible for learning how to save a life.”
William Slaughter, an Edmonds CC student, attended the event to show support for the Red Cross. “In 1999, my house burned down. We lost all our belongings, and the Red Cross responded immediately. I didn’t have any clothes; they gave me vouchers to get some clothes, paid for me and my son to be in a hotel, and offered assistance with food. The Red Cross was very helpful. I was helped out, so I feel like I want to give back,” said Slaughter.
Slaughter spent time in the U.S. Navy, and had been trained previously in CPR.
He is studying addiction with a focus of working with at-risk youth. He feels there may be a time where he will need to use what he learned. Slaughter said, “Whether it is doing outreach in a homeless encampment or whatnot, there may be a time when I need to revive somebody.”
A total of four sessions were offered to community members, including one taught in Spanish. Premera provided free first aid kits to each attendee.
“Eighty percent of the time that a layman performs CPR, the victim is a family member, friend, or a co-worker,” said Chuck Morrison, executive director of the American Red Cross serving Snohomish County.
“Hands-only CPR is as effective as traditional CPR (with rescue breathing) in the case of a witnessed collapse,” said Morrison, “Training sessions like Save-A Life Edmonds are increasingly important to ensure the safety of neighbors, co-workers and loved ones.”
The Save-A-Life Edmonds event was a success, with 310 community members attending the sessions in English and 20 attending the session in Spanish.
Trainings such as Save-A-Life Edmonds are a collaborative effort; they require planning, a space and of course wonderful volunteers.
If you would like to help out at a Save-A-Life event, or any other Red Cross event, please visit http://www.redcross.org/local/washington/volunteer .