Students learn hands-only CPR at free training sessions this week.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Do you know what to do if someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest? The Great Days of CPR is a free, public training event happening in Richmond this week.
Kimberly Hall-Deans says knowing how to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death. "My son died as a result of not getting CPR performed in a timely manner and no one using the portable AED that was located at the facility."
Hall-Deans' son David was a member of the Richmond Metropolitan Baseball League. Last year he traveled with his team to Florida for the annual All-Star Tournament. The healthy 17-year-old athlete collapsed on the field.
"According to the medical examiner, CPR would have sustained him until the paramedics got there and that would have made a big difference. He would have still been here with me today," says Hall-Deans as she prepares to speak with students taking one of the classes held today.
Since David's death, Hall-Deans has become an outspoken advocate for this training. Students learn hands-only CPR and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator. "It brings joy to me because the more people educated in CPR, the more people that can save lives."
It's estimated that about 80% of sudden cardiac arrests happen in the home or a public place, and the first few minutes are the most critical. Hall-Deans thanks everyone who's taking part in the Great Days of CPR and learning how to jump into action even before first responders arrive. "A simple technique can save lives."
The Great Days of CPR continues this week at these locations:
June 3 6 - 8 p.m. Ramsey Memorial Methodist Church 5900 Hull St. Richmond, VA 23224
June 5 12-4 p.m. Calhoun Community Center 436 Calhoun St. Richmond, VA 23231
For the first time, training will also be offered in Spanish. The Central Virginia CPR Council hopes to train 5,000 people at this week's classes.