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Fire district to offer free hands-only CPR classes

The Cloquet Area Fire District will offer free hands-only CPR classes to the community, in an effort to help save lives and make Cloquet and surrounding areas safer.

Castrenze Fricano, a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota  Medical School in Duluth and a part-time emergency responder at CAFD, is helping to teach the classes.

The first class will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Scanlon Community Center (CAFD Station 3) at 2801 Dewey Ave., Scanlon. Each class can take about 20 people. They do not offer CPR certification, however.

“It’s really the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how to do hands-only CPR,” Fricano said, explaining that during his career as a firefighter and paramedic, he responded to many victims of sudden cardiac. Although he always tried his best to resuscitate the individuals, sometimes he failed.

“One observation I made is that in almost all cases, victims did not receive bystander CPR,” he said. “I realized if I could do anything different, it would be to promote the education of CPR.”

Science shows that heart attack victims who receive early CPR and defibrillation have a better chance of surviving. As well, according to a report from the American Heart Association, bystander CPR is performed in only 45.9 percent of bystander-witnessed cardiac arrests. The American Heart Association has recently begun promoting the hands-only CPR as an alternative to the conventional CPR that alternates breaths with chest compressions, in the hopes that more bystanders will perform compressions. Hands-only CPR performed by lay rescuers has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR.

Fricano said they hope to do approximately one class a month.