SLCAD wants to teach CPR to public

Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Southern Lorain County Ambulance District executive director Dave Knapp demonstrates life-saving techniques on Jack the practice dummy.

CPR should be second nature to everyone, not just highly-trained paramedics.

That’s why the Southern Lorain County Ambulance District is extending life-saving classes to the public.

Director Dave Knapp aims to teach as many people as possible how to prevent choking, drowning, and heart attack deaths.

“We’ve had some nurses come in for doctors’ offices and people like that but we’re trying to expand our reach,” he said. “The more people know what they’re doing the more they’re going to be willing to try to do something.”

Ambulance district officals plan to start with a two-year program, but that’s just a jumping-off point for a longer community outreach initiative.

Seven people from the district went through instructor classes and are now ready to teach CPR wherever they’re needed. Each instructor can train up to six people by themselves.

There are three types of CPR, ranging from basic life saving with no mouth-to-mouth component to more extensive training.

The more in-depth programs will entail American Heart Association certification and those who complete the programs will be given cards that last for a two-year cycle.

The program is still in infancy stages so no classes have been scheduled yet, but the district is actively looking for people to sign up.

Locations and costs for each program have not been finalized, but Knapp said fees will be minimal — just enough to cover the cost of materials.

The ambulance district is also seeking supporters to help pay the fees for those who can’t afford them.

Kelsey can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.