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Lathrop Manteca Fire trains 24 in hands only CPR
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People of all ages participated in the two classes to learn the modern CPR technique that recent studies have shown is just as effective as the traditional breath-and-compression method. Photo courtesy Lathrop Manteca Fire District

Two dozen Lathrop residents will be ready in the event that somebody goes into sudden cardiac arrest in their presence. 

On Saturday the Lathrop Manteca Fire District trained 24 community members in Hands Only CPR through two classes that were offered as a partnership between the district and the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services to help promote September as National Preparedness Month. 

For firefighters and emergency medical personnel, preparedness can often mean the difference between life and death – and having more people in the community that are able to appropriately respond during an emergency can raise the rate of survival for those undergoing a medical emergency.  

“Preparation is key to responding to emergencies,” said Lathrop Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely. “Our job isn’t just to respond to emergencies – being prepared to respond is equally important. 

“Before we put anyone on a fire engine, they have to have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond. Being prepared is the beginning steps to a better outcome for any emergency.”

The event also served as an opportunity for the Office of Emergency Services to use the platform as a stepping off point to promote emergency preparedness – something that been at the forefront of local emergency efforts over the course of the last several months as cities across the Central Valley prepare for the possibility that they will lose power for up to five days in the event that PG&E cuts off transmission to thwart potential forest fires. 

Cities like Manteca and Lathrop have worked together to ensure that there will be enough fuel to keep generators running during that emergency to power critical infrastructure, and incident objectives and plans were a major part of the multijurisdictional meetings intended to keep the public safe. 

Hands Only CPR – which has replaced the traditional CPR that most people are familiar with because it keeps blood flowing to the heart continuously, which preserves vital organs while a patient is readied for transport to the hospital – served as the “first step” towards preparing the community at large to be prepared in the event the unthinkable happens, and additional preparedness goals and activities are being rolled out over the course of the next several weeks. 

Those looking for additional information about local emergency preparedness can visit the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services new website – – that provides detailed information about different disaster scenarios and how people can prepare to ensure the best possible outcome for themselves and their families.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.