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September 17, 2013

Off-duty nurse, firefighter save Ariz. man with CPR

The Sun

YUMA, Ariz. — On Sunday morning at about 8:57 a.m. a man and wife were out walking Telegraph Pass, when he suddenly passed out, had no pulse, and was not breathing. 

An off-duty nurse called 911 and immediately began CPR. A couple of minutes later, Benji Stewart, an off-duty wildland firefighter for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, began assisting her. By the time a Rural/Metro ambulance arrived on scene the man had a pulse again.

 The man was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center. A deputy with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office also went along to assist with any further CPR that may have been required during transport.

Rural/Metro spokeswoman Charly McMurdie said the selfless act by the nurse and Stewart, by starting CPR, gave the man a second chance at life.   

According to the American Heart Association, about 92,000 people are saved by CPR in the country each year. Most people, however, who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. 

McMurdie says Rural/Metro recommends that everyone at least learn Continuous Chest Compression (CCC)  or "hands-only" CPR.

"It takes very little time to learn and it could save a life," McMurdie said. "As a trained bystander, who is willing to help, your hands become their heart."

Although "hands-only" CPR can only be used on adults, McMurdie said at least it's a start in the direction of saving a life one day. She went on to say that  there are also instructional videos on the Internet that will teach you how to perform it, or you can check out your local fire department for a class schedule.

Anyone interested in taking a full CPR class can also contact the Red Cross or American Heart Association for a training center in their location.

"Please take the time to learn how to save a life," McMurdie said. "You never know how important it is to know until you need it."

Copyright 2013 The Sun

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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