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Save a heart by learning CPR
Turlock Fire Department Capt. Larry Chalupnik, Engineer Paul Arai, and Firefighter Nicholas Grillo display the compression techniques used in CPR. - photo by 209 file photo

• FIRST SATURDAY: The Manteca Fire Department offers CPR classes the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the classroom behind the Powers Avenue station. The cost is $20 for city residents and $30 for non-city residents. For more info call 456-8300

Everyone has heard of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, through medical TV shows or from real-life experiences; but not enough know how to perform it during an emergency. The American Heart Association estimates that about 30 percent of the population is able to perform CPR in a critical situation. 

CPR, a set of basic emergency skills designed to save a person’s life, has three simple steps made easy to remember by Compressions, Airway and Breathing commonly known as CAB.  . 

Turlock Fire Engineer Paul Arai has firsthand experience at administering CPR and knows the importance of learning the life-saving technique.

“With cardiac arrest, every second counts,” said Arai.  “As each minute passes there is a 10 percent decrease in survival. The odds of a person surviving a cardiac arrest are significantly better when there is someone close at hand to perform CPR.”

The basic principal behind CPR is keeping the blood flowing to the heart and oxygen to the brain.  In a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart goes from a normal heartbeat to a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.  This can be fatal for a patient unless an electric shock, like from a defibrillator, is administered.  Although CPR doesn’t stop ventricular fibrillation, it can extend the time period that defibrillation can be effective.

According to the AHA, performing CPR can double a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.  An estimated 295,000 cardiac arrests are treated outside of the hospital in the United States.  The AHA also found that 80 percent of all cardiac arrests occur in the household, so knowing CPR can more likely save a loved one than a complete stranger.

“The more people in the community that know CPR, the higher the survival rate will be among people,” said Arai.

There are a variety of organizations that offer CPR courses including Emanuel Medical Center, The American Red Cross and First Lady Permanente in Turlock

First Lady Permanente offers CPR certification for people of all ages.  The course combines a lecture, interactive video that features emergency scenarios that are likely to occur in a variety of environments, and hands-on training to teach participants lifesaving skills.

“Participants can be certified the same day for up to two years,” said First Lady Permanente instructor Marcus Wagner.  “We offer these classes all year round and the cost is only $55.  You can register online or call us to make an appointment.”

First Lady Permanente is located on 704 East Main Street. 

For more information on becoming CPR certified call Emanuel Medical Center’s Education Department at 664-2580, or visit or

209 staff reporter