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RFD looking to expand CPR class

The Russellville Fire Department recently hosted a community CPR class and now they are looking to expand the class to include larger groups who might want to take the class together.
Firefighter and EMT Chris Watkins, who teaches the CPR classes, said they are opening the class up to businesses, civic groups, churches and other organizations who would like to take the class as a group for the benefit of their members.
“We know there are probably several groups out there with members who would be interested in knowing the basic steps to CPR,” Watkins said.
“It really is an important skill that everyone should know because you never know when you might have to use it to save someone else’s life.
“CPR really can be the difference between life and death in several situations and the more lay people who understand how to properly administer CPR, the better someone’s chances are for survival and recovery if they ever need it.”
Watkins said they would host the class at the Russellville Fire Station #1 on South Jackson Avenue but he could also bring the class to a different location to accommodate a certain business, church or group if the proper equipment was available.
“This is a video-based and hands-on class, so we would need projection and computer equipment to present it properly, but if those things are available, we would be glad to come and do the class at a different site.”
Fire Chief Joe Mansell said the class would be good for many business owners or manager to offer for their employees in case there was an emergency situation on the job.
“Like Chris said earlier, you never know when you might need CPR,” Mansell said. “If you’re at work and someone stops breathing you would know how to help them, or if you work at a restaurant and someone starts choking or you’re in a church nursery and a child starts choking, you would know how to help them stop. The possibilities are endless.”
Even though the class is not a certification course, this informational bystander class will still teach basic skills in CPR and the relief of choking infants, children and adults.
“I’ve sat though Chris’ class and this is a top-notch class,” Mansell said. “It’s very informative and you come away really feeling like you’ve learned something.”
Mansell said the class would be open to groups county-wide, not just in the Russellville city limits.
“We want as many people to have this knowledge as possible, so we didn’t want to just limit it to the city residents and groups,” he said. “And it is offered for free so there wouldn’t be any financial reasons that a group couldn’t participate.”
Mansell said they will be offering the group classes as soon as enough people register for the class.
To register for the class or for more information, contact Chief Mansell at 256-332-8761, ext. 11.