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CPR Saturday

July 19, 1998

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

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CPR SaturdayBy TERI JOHNSON / Staff Writer

Washington County Chapter of American Red Cross wants to make sure you have all the bases covered in an emergency.

The chapter and Hagerstown Suns Baseball Club are sponsoring CPR Saturday July 25 at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown.

The baseball field will become a classroom from 8 a.m. to noon, says Julie Barr-Strasburg, executive director of the chapter.

--cont from lifestyle--

Participants will learn adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation, rescue breathing and first aid for choking emergencies, as well as how to respond to other situations and call for assistance.

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The $10 cost includes a course book. The course is limited to 60 people.

American Red Cross chapters across the country have started partnerships with professional baseball clubs, Barr-Strasburg says.

To encourage people to give blood, last year the Suns began offering free game tickets to donors, says David Blenckstone, the team's general manager.

Each person taking part in CPR Saturday will receive a free pass to a Suns' game.

The course is intended to help people feel more confident of their ability to act appropriately in an emergency.

"The key is to make people relax enough to feel like they can do it," says Barr-Strasburg, who teaches CPR.

She notes that heart disease is a leading cause of death, and many people are at risk because of their lifestyle or have family members and friends who have been victims.

Participants will learn the signals of a heart attack, which include chest pain, breathing difficulty, changes in pulse rate and a pale or bluish skin color.

Last year the Washington County chapter taught CPR to 1,623 people.

Julie Bricker, one of the 15 instructors for CPR Saturday, says everyone should know CPR.

"It is so simple to learn and can save so many lives," says Bricker, a school health assistant at Western Heights Middle School.

Anyone can participate in CPR Saturday, which is part of American Red Cross's Save-a-Life Summer program. There is no age requirement, but Barr-Strasburg recommends that children be able to read at the fifth-grade level.

Participants will watch a video in the pavilion area, then they will be assigned to a station at one of the bases. Mannequins will be set up at the bases, and those taking the course will practice what they learned in the video.

Written and skills tests will be given, and those passing them will receive adult CPR certification valid for one year.

Bricker says people sometimes hesitate to help someone because they're concerned about not doing CPR correctly. They also fear being sued, but they shouldn't worry because Good Samaritan laws will cover them, she says.

"The bottom line is, jump right in and do it," she says.

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