Mind, Body & Spirit

Free Red Cross classes honor Rep. Giffords

The American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter will offer free CPR and first aid training on Saturday, March 19, as part of Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save-a-Life Saturday. Red Cross chapters will hold classes at more than 100 locations across the country to honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and all those involved in the Jan. 8 Tucson tragedy.

Classes will be held at six Southern Arizona locations in Tucson, Green Valley, Nogales, Sierra Vista, and Douglas, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Tucson locations are the Doubletree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way, which will offer an extra class at 1 p.m., and the Northwest Tucson YMCA, 7770 N. Shannon Road. Training will last 45 minutes to one hour, and will include instruction in hands-only CPR, controlling external bleeding and managing shock. For a complete list of locations, go to www.red crossarizona.org/sals or call 318-6740.

“The tragedy in Tucson is a reminder of how important it is for everyone to know first aid and CPR,” said Richard White, executive director of the Southern Arizona Red Cross. “As this tragic event unfolded, several bystanders knew these vital skills, which helped save the lives of many victims.”

A 2010 Red Cross survey found that one in four people have been in a situation where someone needed CPR. Recent research also shows that if more people learned hands-only CPR, it would increase the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside a hospital.

Also on March 19, the Red Cross is premiering a set of videos to teach CPR and first aid skills. Those unable to attend a Save-a-Life Saturday event can visit www. redcross.org/savealife to watch as lifesaving skills are taught. To find out when full CPR and first aid classes are offered locally, visit www.redcrossarizona.org.