Every day, it seems there are stories where someone falls over from a sudden heart attack, passes out on the tennis court, or falls out while jogging.

Would you know what to do if this happened in front of you? Would you be able to help?

This is the very reason you should consider learning cardio pulmonary resuscitation, more commonly known as CPR. Bystanders just like you are saving lives every day because they know CPR.

In this day and age, CPR classes are designed to teach people to perform CPR in a variety of situations, with easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of hands-on practice.

Most classes also incorporate AED (automated external defibrillator). AEDs can tell when a person in cardiac arrest needs a shock and will prompt the rescuer through the steps.

You will see these devices in airports, malls, gyms, daycare centers, health clubs, churches and many businesses.

It is proven that CPR can save lives, and many bystanders have initiated this life-saving technique. Don’t wait until an accident or injury affects you personally before deciding to take a CPR class. Starting CPR within minutes of a cardiac arrest can add valuable minutes to a person’s life.

Good quality compressions can keep a patient viable until advanced care arrives. Going into cardiac arrest prevents oxygen and blood from entering the heart, brain and lungs, so every second counts when the body cannot breathe on its own.

While you might think you will never need to know this skill, wouldn’t it be better to have the tools to try and save a life rather than stand by? Lives are being saved every day because bystanders initiated CPR.

Captured your interest yet? Here’s how you can take a CPR-AED class. Call any one of these locations for more information and a class schedule.

  • Bluffton Township Fire District. Call Lee Levesque, Public Education Officer, at 843-757-2800 or visit www.blufftonfd.com and click on CPR.
  • Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue. Call Cinda Seamon, Fire & Life Safety Educator, at 843-682-5141 or visit www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov and click on public safety, then fire rescue.
  • Hilton Head Hospital, in conjunction with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue. Call 877-582-2737.
  • American Red Cross in Bluffton. Call 843-757-7437.

Cinda Seamon is the fire and life safety educator for the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue.