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Red Cross Offers CPR Training in Towns That Get Cut-off During Disasters

Lady taking a Red Cross CPR class
People realized the importance of being able to provide basic treatment.

The American Red Cross is providing a series of free CPR and first aid trainings to residents and first responders in four mountain communities that can become cut-off from outside help – and medical attention – during disasters like last year’s floods and wildfires.

Red Cross instructors delivered a professional CPR training to volunteer firefighters from Ward and Gold Hill on Sunday, Sept. 28, in Ward. The Red Cross will also provide CPR/First Aid training for “lay responders” – everyday residents – in Lyons, Nederland and Estes Park. The trainings are limited to residents of those communities and are not open to the general public; however, media are welcome to attend and cover the trainings:

•    Lyons –  Sunday, Oct. 5

•    Nederland – Sunday, Oct. 12

•    Estes Park – Sunday, October 19

The Red Cross is offering the free trainings in response to a need identified by residents and leaders in the small mountain communities as they recover from last year’s floods and strengthen their resiliency in the face of future disasters.

Residents in Lefthand Canyon had realized the need to have more local individuals trained to treat basic injuries because their local first responders – often volunteer firefighters – are often fully engaged in fighting wildfires or responding to the immediate needs of a disaster. Then the 2013 floods struck.

“I think it hit home for some folks when the town of Lyons was cut off into six islands – there were minor injuries, and people realized the importance of being able to provide basic treatment in the interim between when disaster struck and when emergency responders could overcome the massive obstacles to reaching residents,” said Sabrina Amon, Recovery Manager for the Red Cross of Colorado. “The people in these small mountain communities tend to be self-reliant because the nature of their surrounding geography means they can become isolated from outside help; they realized that empowering a greater number of people with basic, lifesaving skills like CPR and first aid is an important piece of their ability to withstand disasters.”

In addition to training everyday residents, the Red Cross offered a full, professional CPR training for volunteer fire fighters from fire departments that are struggling with budgets overwhelmed by recent disaster responses.