Free CPR course in downtown Knoxville

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Dozens of people got a lesson in saving lives on Sunday. They learned CPR for free, thanks to the Knoxville Fire Department, Rural Metro and other volunteers.

"I have a special-needs brother and I take care of him quite often, and I figure this would help out a little bit. You never know when you'll need it, and when you need it, it helps," said Jacob Frost, who learned CPR.

Volunteers taught adult, child and infant CPR to people of all ages, including 10-year-old Lexie Jajack.

"One person in each household should do it because if somebody goes down, they should be able to do it and not just be looking around for help," said Jajack.

First responders said knowing CPR can often mean the difference between life and death.

"You may be standing in a restaurant, you may be out walking in the community and find someone in cardiac arrest or find someone about to go into cardiac arrest and that person being there, knowing CPR, knowing what to do - that's the basics, that's what actually saves folks' lives," said Captain Mark Wilbanks, with the Knoxville Fire Department.

"The cofidence they get from knowing these things allows them to jump in when the time actually comes - sonething like the Boston Marathon, where you don't know what's happening, but you can see something, you've got that confidence, you can go out and help them when they need it the most," said David Blevins, paramedic program director for Roane State Community College.

Aside from CPR, people could also learn what to do if someone's choking. They also learned how to use automatic external defibrillators, which walk people through the steps of shocking someone's heart back into a normal rhythm.

It takes about 30 minutes to learn the basics, but first responders said CPR skills will come in handy when the time really counts.

If you missed Sunday's CPR training, but want to get certified, you can learn from the Knoxville Fire Department, Roane State Community College and Walter State Community College.

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