CPR Training Saved The Shark Victim; It Could Save You

Every minute your heart stops beating, medical experts say your chances of survival drop 10%. Learning CPR may not save your life, but it could save a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger.

Just ask Ruth Bishop. In 1998, she was at the Coliseum watching a demolition derby, when a monster truck crushed a flag man. "Because of my training," Bishop said, "I knew that I could do mouth to nose resuscitation, because I couldn't get his mouth open to do mouth to mouth resuscitation."

Ruth Bishop had an advantage that night. The registered nurse had formal CPR training. When she did when she jumped out of the stands and saved the flag man's life can actually be done by anybody, if you learn CPR.

Mike Sturgill is operations manager at American Medical Response's Gulfport office. He said, "Anybody with a minimal amount of training can save somebody's life with CPR, no question about it."

At least twice a month, AMR teaches basic CPR to anybody who signs up for a class. "I think it's vital that everybody knows CPR," Sturgill said. "We can't save everybody, but we can certainly save an awful lot more if CPR was done before we get there."

Early CPR is the second of four links stressed by the American Heart Association. Doctors said it was the link that kept eight year old Jessie Arbogast alive Friday night after his shark attack. And it was the link Ruth Bishop executed to save the flag man.

"It's a real humble feeling and a real feeling of gratitude to know that I could help someone," she said. "Perhaps someone would be able to help me or someone I love." That's only possible if people become certified in basic CPR training.

Several local hospitals teach CPR classes. So does AMR. It charges $30 for the one day certification class.