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Red Cross Teaches CPR, Fire Safety at NBC Health and Fitness Expo

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It’s very simple, very quick to learn how to save a life.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross New Jersey Region and the American Red Cross of Greater New York helped families become better prepared for emergencies and disasters at the NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. 


On Sunday afternoon, the Red Cross offered a free Citizen CPR course where more than 35 people were trained how to properly perform chest compressions. People of all ages lined up and got down on their knees on the grass in front the of the Expo main stage and carefully interlaced their fingers and practiced performing chest compressions. 

“People don't realize, but every year on average about 300,000 people lose their lives to sudden cardiac arrest,” Ana Montero, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region told NBC’s Dave Price during a live segment from the field at MetLife Stadium. “It’s very simple, very quick to learn how to save a life.”

Hands-only CPR can increase the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings. Hands-only CPR is a potentially lifesaving technique involving no mouth-to-mouth contact. It is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse.

During the expo, volunteers were at the Red Cross booths and out in the crowds reaching thousands of people with fire safety and disaster preparedness information. Volunteers educated families about how to build an emergency kit, create a family disaster plan and demonstrated how the free Red Cross Emergency App can help their family know what to do before, during and after a disaster.

“In a typical year, home fires kill more people than all other natural disasters combined in the United States,” said Tommy Ditmars, lead volunteer, Home Fire Campaign, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We are happy to educate families about simple steps they can take to protect themselves from home fires.”

Volunteers encouraged families at the Expo to take two simple steps than can help save lives: test their smoke alarms and practice their fire escape plan. Fire experts agree that when a fire breaks out, families have as little as two minutes to escape from their burning home. Volunteers showed families how they can create a family fire escape plan and encouraged them to practice it regularly to ensure all members of your household know what to do should a fire occur. They also reminded families to test their smoke alarms monthly and replace any that aren’t operational immediately.

Over the course of the weekend, more than 800 people took time during the Expo festivities to write a note of thanks to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans at the Red Cross booth. While adults signed cards, children came in droves to draw pictures for the troops. 

On Saturday, people stopped by the Red Cross Bloodmobile to roll up a sleeve and donate blood to help patients in need. 

GET PREPARED The Red Cross wants everyone to be prepared for potential disasters and other emergencies. These events can strike suddenly, anywhere and at any time. Taking steps now can help make a difference during a disaster or other emergency. For information on how you can prepare you and your family for disasters visit

Download the free Red Cross Mobile Apps. The Red Cross suite of free mobile apps puts expert first aid and disaster preparedness information in the palm of your hand, including what to do before, during and after disasters. The apps are available in English and Spanish for iPhone and Android devices. See all the Red Cross Mobile Apps and their features at

Sign up for a Red Cross First Aid, CPR/AED course. Learn lifesaving skills by taking a Red Cross course. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, the CPR/AED course teaches how to properly administer CPR and utilize an automated external defibrillator (AED) to provide immediate care during a cardiac or breathing emergency until medical personnel arrive. Learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies including cuts; burns; head, neck and spinal injuries; and more during the First Aid course. Find a course near you.