Saving lives one CPR certification at a time

The average CPR/ AED training class can cost between $30 and $100, but the American Red Cross offered a free course to Pierce students interested in receiving a certification.

For two days, March 24 and 25, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the training occurred on campus.

David Turcotte, economic and workforce development counselor, said that funding for the event on March 25 was made possible by the higher education initiatives the House of Representatives passed in 2016 to help aid students in pursuit of a career in the healthcare profession.

“The CPR/AED training was provided by the Los Angeles Healthcare Competencies to Careers Consortium (LAH3C) grant, which was a funded initiative to help students interested in healthcare to gain basic competencies toward their goals,” Turcotte said.

Turcotte said the turnout was more than expected, which allowed for the additional opportunity to offer the course in Elm 1701.

“We had extra room, so we decided to open the class to all students who were interested in receiving CPR certification,” Turcotte said. “We had a lot of demand so we decided to run a second class.”

Jasmin Roberts, a pre-nursing student, said the free CPR/AED class was a great opportunity to receive useful training.

“I’m very appreciative the class was given for free because this sort of training is usually expensive,” Roberts said. “Plus, it’s only a four to five-hour investment to be able to possibly save someone’s life.”

Each class is approximately five hours long and is intended to instruct students of the proper procedure for assessing an emergency situation, as well as administering CPR for adults, infants and children. Students worked individually and in groups, led by an American Red Cross trainer, using dummies to learn resuscitation techniques.

Mehdi Jeldi, a kinesiology major, said the course taught him how to assist a person in an emergency situation.

“The course has been very helpful,” Jeldi said. “I learned how to rescue a person who is not breathing or does not have a pulse.”

Students were taught to first assess the situation to determine what approach to take. Protocols for assisting choking victims included identifying an airway obstruction, as well as applying chest compression and providing rescue breath.

The course also taught students how to recognize signs of a heart attack or stroke, and how to approach such emergency situations.

Covering emergency situations in detail, the class concluded with a 25-question test required for CPR/AED certification.

Heaven Obike, an environmental science major, recognized that the CPR/AED class was one of the many enriching events Pierce has offered to its students.

“Pierce offers so many great opportunities,” Obike said. “You just have to go out and take them.”

Richard Mellinger, the current director of LAH3C, said interest in the event reflected well on Pierce students.

“When we opened the class to the entire student population, we had a tremendous response,” Mellinger said. “This speaks well of our students. I think they really care about their common man.”