RENO, NV - A large crowd looked on horrified as a three year old boy was pulled lifeless from the Truckee River at Rock Park Sunday.
There was apparently only one person on hand who happened to know C-P-R.
As others stood by Garet Bartholomew went to work, bringing the boy back to life before paramedics arrived.
The boy was lucky, but it's frightening to think what might have happened had Bartholomew and his girlfriend not decided to go swimming Sunday.
It's not hard to learn CPR. Thousands do each year and each year some of them save lives. It's almost certain other lives are lost because those around them didn't know what to do.
"When somebody is needing CPR and no one knows how to do it and they're calling and waiting, those are precious moments when someone could lose their life," says Clara Andriola, Executive Director of the Reno office of the American Red Cross,
Andriola says she doesn't know how many people in the area are CPR satisfied, but "there aren't enough."
The Red Cross offers classes in CPR and First Aid year round and would offer even more if the demand was there.
"We'd like everyone to get these skills," she says.
The Red Cross has advocated offering CPR classes in the state's high schools. The legislature gave the idea its OK, but made it an elective. It's not known how many juniors and seniors have taken the course.
They don't,. she adds, possibly because they've never been in the situation that required them and then there's the time ( a few hours) it takes to learn.
Most of the crowd Sunday was Hispanic and language was a problem. Bartholomew asked if anyone spoke English. A woman stepped forward to help, He talked her through the process as she gave breaths to the boy and he did chest compressions.
Andriola says language is no barrier to learning the skill, The Red Cross offers the classes in English and Spanish.
You can register for a class on line. You'll find a link here under Hot Topics.