Learning Hands-Only CPR

By Alexandra Montgomery

March 30, 2013 Updated Mar 30, 2013 at 11:56 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Shoppers at Oakdale Mall found more than just sales while preparing for Easter.

The Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross held free courses in compression CPR and disaster preparedness as part of Red Cross Month.

The Red Cross says that hands-only CPR can be effective when a rescuer is unable, untrained, or does not want to preform full CPR. It should be performed until paramedics arrive to the scene.

"Learning to do compression-only CPR, as we said, takes 10 minutes," said Lance Lee, a licensed CPR instructor. "But what value do we put on a person's life?"

Lee showed participants how and where to place their hands on dummies. "We want to be on the breast bone," Lee said. "We put one hand over the other, just like that. We interlace our fingers and we want to be straight over the person's chest."

Lee counted down and all the participants pushed their hands into the dummies at a rapid pace. "This is a great thing we can do," Lee said.

The Red Cross wants people to know how to prepare for a natural disaster. They say there are three things people can do; make an easily accessible emergency kit, create an emergency plan, and be informed about the kinds of natural disasters in their area.

"It's the kind of thing now in our area that touches our hearts whether they were struck by an emergency," said Mary Woitach, a community dispatch preparedness coordinator. "And you know, it's not just floods, fires are the number one disaster that the Red Cross helps us with."

To learn more about compression CPR or emergency preparedness, contact the Southern Tier American Red Cross at 607-785-7207.