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Red Cross Holds Free CPR Classes In Honor Of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

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CPR, Red Cross
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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was exactly 10 weeks ago Saturday a gunman went on a shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz.  Nineteen people were shot, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Ron Matz reports in Baltimore, the Red Cross reminded everyone what steps you can take when life changes in an instant.

At the Red Cross in Baltimore, it was Save-A-Life Saturday, honoring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and critically wounded in Tucson Jan. 8.

“The training lasts 45 minutes to an hour.  We’re going over compression-only CPR, bleeding control and managing shock.  These were all important skills that came into play that day for that tragedy in Tucson.  Thankfully, there were bystanders who had these skills and they saved lives and they saved Congresswoman Giffords’ life, so that’s why we felt it was important for us to offer this training to the public,” said Nick Geier, American Red Cross.  “It’s happening today in the tragedy in Japan.  It’s taken a lot of time to get to the victims so in a lot of cases, there’s someone there that can offer that aid to sustain a life until help can come.”

There were classes in CPR and other lifesaving techniques, as well as thoughts about what happened 10 weeks ago.

“After the event with Congresswoman Giffords, I felt obligated to come out and practice the skills of lifesaving in the event anything like this should happen in Maryland.  I think that everyone should know the basic lifesaving skills because you never know whose life you might have to save,” said Angela Coleman.

These vital skills could mean the difference between life and death.

“The class was very informative.  I’m actually in the Navy and I’ll be helping to run some physical tests, so it’s good knowledge to have just in case something happens out there,” said Alex Pototsky.

Think about this: the Red Cross says many people have been in a situation where someone has gone into cardiac arrest.  Would you know what to do?

“This training is very important.  It’s going to be some time before first responders can get there, so it’s important to have these lifesaving skills, especially the compression-only CPR, bleeding control and shock.  Not just the victim, but a lot of witnesses can experience shock,” said Geier.

Six people died in the Arizona shootings.  Medical experts expect Congresswoman Giffords’ recovery to take several months to more than a year.  Federal prosecutors have filed five charges against the suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress.

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