Classes teach CPR basics without the costly fees

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By Cindy Simpson

A small gathering of South Harriman Baptist Church congregants know about saving souls.


Now they are better prepared at saving lives.

The group took Harriman Fire Department’s Friends and Family cardiopulmonary resuscitation class to learn the basics.

The free class is a starting point, but it doesn’t give the participants certification.

“Sometimes people don’t have money to do a certification course. This Friends and Family is a free course. We put up the biggest cost of it,” Harriman Fire Chief Brad Goss said.

“If one of these 14 people does CPR on somebody and saves them, the course is everything that has been put into it is worth it, as far as I’m concerned,” Goss said.

He and Brandon Alcorn are the instructors.

Elaine Patterson was once certified many years ago, but she decided to freshen up with this free course in case she ever needs it.

She thinks it may come in handy at the nursing home where she volunteers, as well as when she works with children at the church.

“I thought besides having it for the children, it would be a good idea to have it for the older people, too,” Patterson said.

Pam Harvey works regularly with children at the church. She attended the class with family, including grandson Jacob Harvey.

“I think it could be a very useful skill to have,” said Jacob Harvey, who wants to be a nurse.

The course teaches the steps for CPR, including compression, opening the airway and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Participants were shown mouthpieces that can aid mouth-to-mouth resuscitation without transferring bacteria and diseases between the rescuer and victim, as well as how to use an automated external defibrillator, which checks the heart rhythm and can deliver an electric shock to the heart if needed.

The defibrillator walks the person doing it straight through the steps needed.

For more information on holding a Friends and Family class or having a certified class, call, Harriman Fire Station One at 882-3072.