American Heart Association: Learning To Be A Hero

By KBJR News 1

June 11, 2012 Updated Jun 11, 2012 at 2:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don't know how to properly administer CPR.

Danyel Piecek puts us in touch with how the American Heart Association is teaching the Northland to be heroes.

It's a new technique called, "hands only CPR."

"That saves a lot of lives because it moves the oxygen that's already in your blood system around by pumping that heart."

And it's designed for people young and old.

"It's critical and it's for all ages...we have demonstrations that are available for all ages and the more people we can create awareness with and certainly educate on that bystanders CPR and helping to get those compressions started early, the more lives we can save."

The American Heart Association, the YMCA and Essentia Health partnered in Duluth to offer free hands– only CPR training today at the Miller Hill Mall to give residents the know how to save someone's life.

"It's important for everybody to know how to do this because unfortunately there's not an EMT or a doctor or nurse around at all times when somebody has a heart attack or needs some CPR." said Kim Gear.

"And with 80% of cardiac arrests happening at home, training like this is essential."

"I think it's important that everyone knows how to do it. They need to know how to help people too," said Erin Gustafson.

Principal Trainer for Essentia Health, Scott Parrott, says he started teaching CPR classes after a family member suffered a heart attack.

"That's why I got involved with it...a loved one had a heart attack and needed the CPR that sparked it in me that maybe I should learn how to do this."

Because you never know when you're going to need to be someone's hero.

Officials say the life you save using CPR is most likely to be someone you love.