It's all about saving lives.
That's the message that was delivered by instructors teaching CPR and first aid to first responders and cadets of the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services at fire headquarters last Tuesday night.
"You never know when something is going to happen, like a cardiac arrest case where CPR has to be used," said Patrick Cail, who is a volunteer firefighter/first responder with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services. "Knowing the proper way to administer CPR and the time to use it could help save a life. After all, as firefighters, that's our number one responsibility - is to save lives."
Mr. Cail and Capt. Steve Parish taught the class of 14 last week. Two other people also pitched in: Joanette Warr Terry and Ken Zaydel - both of whom are basic life support instructors.
"I'm a big advocate of this program being taught to as many people as possible in our community," said Mrs. Terry, who also is a member of the McDuffie County Health Board. "This program definitely helps save lives; there's no question about it."
In fact, she is so impressed by it that her two sons, Clinton, 11, a rising sixth grader at Thomson Middle School and Brandon, 9, a rising fourth grader at R.L. Norris Elementary School, have been taking one-on-one lessons from her at home.
"They're anxious to learn about CPR," Mrs. Terry said. "I'd like to see residents in our community become more interested in taking this course, because you never know when you could help save someone's life."
The CPR/first aid courses are available to anyone - not just firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
"We want to teach as many people as we can how to save lives," Capt. Parish said.
Anyone wishing to take the CPR/first aid courses should contact the fire/rescue services office at 706-595-2044. As soon as there are enough people signed up to take the class, then persons would be notified when to attend the classroom training which would be taught at the new county fire/rescue headquarters near Salem and Harrison roads.
Mr. Zaydel, who works as a jailer at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center said that all 20 of the jailers in the county, as well as road patrol deputies and an investigator, all are certified in CPR and first aid.
"That's something we're all very proud about," Mr. Zaydel said. "That means that in the event of an emergency, we could respond immediately and who knows, maybe save someone's life."