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Red Cross Gives Lifesaving Lessons on Capitol Hill

Inspired by the heroic actions that saved lives during the tragic shooting in Tucson, the American Red Cross offered hands-only CPR and first aid training on Capitol Hill today for Representative Giffords’ colleagues and their staffs.

Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords’ husband, recently commented on his Red Cross connection and the importance of being trained. “CPR training saves lives. I have an extensive history with the Red Cross – when in high school I volunteered; I was part of the First Aid squad; I was an EMT; and even at NASA I’ve had CPR training through the Red Cross.”

Three separate one-hour training sessions were held in the morning and afternoon, at which participants learned the hands-only CPR skill, along with how to care for wounds and treat shock.

American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern attended the morning training at the Cannon House Office Building and gave comments at a briefing for the press.

“The Red Cross is about enabling ordinary people to perform extraordinary acts in an emergency. At this Capitol Hill event and the nationwide event on March 19, we plan to train thousands of people in the lifesaving skill of CPR and First Aid,” said McGovern.

The sessions were a kick-off for the “Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save-a-Life Saturday.” On March 19, the Red Cross will offer free training in first aid and hands-only CPR at more than 100 locations nationwide. The congresswoman’s office encourages Americans to take advantage of the training opportunities in their local communities.

"As a Red Cross-trained lifeguard growing up, knowing CPR and basic first responder skills was a crucial part of my job. Refreshing these skills with the Red Cross today and knowing they can potentially save a life, hits that much closer to home in our community here on Capitol Hill," said Eric S. Fins, Legislative Assistant for Representative Adam Smith.

The Red Cross training on Capitol Hill and across the country on Saturday are free of charge to the public, thanks to the support of Walgreens and Safeway. Event details and a map of training locations can be found at

If you are unable to attend a training this weekend, contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out when a regular class is offered in your community.