by Lisa Tome
Juanita Weatherman never attended a CPR class before Saturday.
"This is my first time learning," said Weatherman, 81, of Sylmar. "It's all right. I hope I can do it sometime."
She was one of many who turned out for the free, 10 minute hands only CPR lessons offered by Cecil's Department of Emergency Services and the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun.
The event was held in Rising Sun Towne Center and was open to all. The goal was to train as many people as possible in life-sustaining CPR in hopes that they would use it if someone nearby was the victim of cardiac arrest. Mike Deckard, an assistant Chief with Cecil DES said the goal of the class is to boost the survival rate. If CPR is started immediately, it increases the chance that life can be sustained prior to the arrival of EMS personnel.
Rising Sun Fire Chief Matt Blakeley said a top priority if the event was to build awareness among the public. "The key today is to show people that early CPR helps save lives. It's a beautiful day to learn CPR," said Blakeley.
Christine Runge delayed her grocery shopping for a few minutes to receive the training. "This is something smart to do. My parents are getting older and you never know. I wasn't too sure (about the technique) the first time they showed me. But the second time I was," said Runge.
Frank Scott, 86, learned CPR earlier this year. He stopped by the event and asked for a refresher course and also asked how to help people who are choking.
Jenny Weaver brought her son, Justin, 13, to learn CPR. "We were in a very bad accident (previously) at the Calvert light. After getting in that accident it's important for us to know what to do," said Weaver.
"It was easy," said Justin Weaver. "I'm glad I got to learn.
Rising Sun piloted this program for the county. The next hands only CPR class will be offered on September 21 at North East Walmart from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.