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July | August 2017

has saved about 100 -120 lives using CPR. He has also been a CCPR instructor for 15 years and has trained 3,000 people. “Arming people with this skill might just help them save someone’s life,” says Leath, a firefighter for 30 years. “There is no class that has the potential to be more important than a CPR class.” He not only teaches classes, but he also trains other instructors. The initial goal of CCPR was to train 100,000 people, which they met, says Harvey Craven, president of the board. “Early CPR and early use of AEDs (automatic external defibrillator) - within a minute – that’s what is going to save lives. Any form of CPR is important.” CCPR, which began in 1985, holds a national license with the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute. The organization offers classes to individuals and groups. “We support the heart association,” says Bamberg. “We get guidance and materials from them. It gives us credibility. “Our training is high quality,” she explains. “We take it very seriously.” Bamberg is passionate about CPR training because she wasn’t familiar with it and had to watch her father die of a heart attack when she was a teenager. “I don’t want anyone (else) to know the feeling of not being able to do anything.”

Another initiative of CCPR is drowning prevention. The group has a program where low income families can get trained in CPR and then take swimming lessons for free. “There are so many people that can’t afford it,” she says. “The cities love it, so working together helps address the issue.” According to the Florida Department of Health, drowning is the leading cause of injury death among children ages 1-4 in the state. Sylvia Rodriguez never thought she would have to perform CPR on her 11-month-old nephew. Before she knew it, he was in the pool and blue when they pulled him out. “I was hoping I could remember infant CPR,” she says. “I tried it and started remembering.” The first thing she recommends is try not to panic. “If I would have panicked, he would not be alive.” After CPR, he became conscious and his color came back. Rodriguez says anyone with a child and/or a pool should learn CPR. She was trained six years ago. “You think you’ll never use it, but CPR is what saved (my nephew).” Citizen CPR teaches CPR classes in


various locations around Polk at a cost of roughly $35. A calendar on the website lists times and locations. For more info visit

The 863 Magazine - July & August 2017  

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