Training 200 is goal at Concordia mass CPR class

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – As chief of the Sandy Lake Volunteer Fire District, Robert Squyres is used to responding to emergencies – but six years ago, he was the emergency.

Squyres suffered a heart attack at his home in Catahoula Parish, which has no ambulance service and no hospital. But an ambulance transferring a patient to Riverland Medical Center was in the area – and the paramedics knew cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

&uot;I&160;was lucky that they got to me early and knew CPR,&uot; said Squyres, who lives near Jonesville. &uot;If you do it in the first five minutes of a heart attack, it increases you’re chances of survival by 70 percent. If it wasn’t for that, I&160;might not be here today.&uot;

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So he will be at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility’s community room April 28, when area emergency personnel hope to teach at least 200 people the life-saving skills of CPR in the parish’s first-ever mass training class.

Four two-hour sessions will be held at the facility on Louisiana 15, just south of Ferriday. The classes will be open free of charge to anyone in the Miss-Lou, said Fire Chief Nolen Cothren of Concordia Parish Fire District No. 2.

Cothren was quick to point out that those who need CPR certification for their jobs must take a different course, a four-hour course that is also offered once a year in Concordia Parish.

&uot;But for those who just want to know how to save a person’s life, we’ll teach them all the basic CPR skills,&uot;&160;Cothren said. &uot;If you don’t know how to do CPR properly, you can actually end up hurting somebody rather than helping.&uot;

Cothren is a big believer in CPR, having responded to several medical calls in which CPR saved lives.

&uot;But we’ve also been to several incidents where someone’s mother or father have gone into cardiac arrest and (their children) didn’t know CPR,&uot;&160;Cothren said. &uot;They know it’s something they should learn. But by then, it’s too late.&uot;

Class times will be 8 to 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. To sign up, call Concordia Parish Fire District No. 2 at 336-5068.