Learning CPR is an important first step in being ready for an emergency.

On Monday, March 2nd, the local Red Cross will offer a free CPR for Everyone class to help people get prepared.

We want people to learn to save a life, said Tammie Lewis, director of the Red Cross Service Center.

The class will be from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Monday, March 2, at the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce Community Room.

The course involves chest compressions only no rescue breaths and is taught through a DVD and foam toy shaped like a Red Cross disaster vehicle. The practice tool is an innovative design that gives the rescuer an idea of how deep to press when giving chest compressions without using a full-size CPR mannequin.

Some people are uncomfortable giving rescue breaths. Plus, unless a rescuer has had a lot of practice, those rescue breaths might not even reach the lungs. So for many people, compression-only CPR is a good alternative because it keeps the blood circulating until professional help arrives.

Some other facts about First Aid and CPR for Everyone:

Chest compressions can sustain life until professional

help arrives.

Care in the first few minutes after injury or sudden

illness can make difference between life, disability

and death.

Every family member even children should learn

the signals and learn how to give CPR. The entire

family can learn the skills and practice

compressions together.

Although many people realize that they should be better prepared for disasters, few actually do what it takes to be ready. Only 7 percent of Americans have taken the steps necessary to get prepared, according to the American Red Cross.

March is National Red Cross Month, and the Red Cross will be undertaking several activities so that everyone can be ready in the event of a large-scale disaster or a health emergency that affects a single person.

The Grove course is free and open to the public. To register, call the American Red Cross at 256-6143.