By Nihit Pokhrel

Edited by Nancy Waddell

Hands-only cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a technique to provide lifesaving assistance in a cardiac emergency — using nothing but a bystander’s own two hands. It is a valuable skill and the inspiration for a recent hands-only CPR training offered free by the American Red Cross and Premera Blue Cross at Edmonds Community College. The 5th annual event drew 185 people to the Lynnwood, WA campus on a weeknight in April. Sessions were provided in two languages, with 22 attendees participating in Spanish.

Attendees ranging in ages from 10-80 enjoyed and valued the experience they received; Destiny Cram’s outlook was particularly practical. Cram, a full-time student at Edmonds Community College, attended and brought her two daughters along as well. Being offered free of charge made it possible for Lizzy (16) and Ava (13) to get trained, which “otherwise would have been unattainable for them,” Cram said.

Destiny Cram and her daughters

It wasn’t a hard-sell to get Lizzy there. Cram suggested it to her older daughter as a way to charge extra money while babysitting. “Having the knowledge of what to do when caring for other children can help parents feel more at ease,” she said.

Over the years, CPR training has become popular in the job market. A variety of jobs, ranging from flight attendant to lab teaching assistant, require applicants to be CPR certified; one needs to be able to promptly provide life saving assistance when needed.

The American Red Cross takes pride in sharing the hands-only CPR techniques. Through this partnership with Premera alone, about 1500 people in Snohomish County have received training in the last 5 years.

Chuck Morrison, executive director of the American Red Cross serving Snohomish County, is particularly enthusiastic about the addition of Spanish-language sessions. Morrison says, “I believe that there’s significant opportunity for growth of our teaching opportunity for the Hispanic and Latino population.”

To learn more about the courses available in a classroom and online, or other training materials available from the American Red Cross, please visit: redcross.org/take-a-class.


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