Hundreds gather to learn life saving measures at 'Hands-Only' CPR training

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - A room full of dummies made smart choices Saturday, as hundreds gathered to learn hands-only C.P.R. in Eau Claire.

Ondrea Bryans of Eau Claire said after her uncle, Tom Oxborrow died of a heart attack, that learning C.P.R. and teaching it to her family became a goal.

“If something happens to a family member, if you don't know how to act, if things don't turn out well, there's just always that ... Regret that you wouldn't necessarily need to have,” Bryans said.

Saturday, she and hundreds of others got that chance, through a training course in hands-only C.P.R. offered by Sacred Heart Hospital.

"They'll be learning the proper depth, the proper ratio, where their hands have to actually be placed (using mannequins),” Peggy Pendergast, American Heart Association Training Center Coordinator at Sacred Heart Hospital said.

After 30 years of smoking, Jim Banker started having shortness of breath which lead to a quadruple bypass surgery. After quitting smoking, it's 20 years later, and he hopes to be ready if someone else is having an emergency.

"We have grandchildren and great grandchildren and it's nice to be able to help them if we have to too,” Banker said.

"That's a great first step to take, to make yourself feel more comfortable and helping save someone's life,” WEAU medical correspondent Dr. Alicia Arnold said.

“Anytime there's anything like this that can benefit the community that is made available at no cost, is just absolutely a blessing to everybody,” Bryans said.

“Cardiovascular disease is just growing and growing and growing. And we really want the public to be able to help somebody if they see somebody in need,” Pendergast said.

“Everybody's getting more worried about the way the world's going and they all want to be able to help somebody in time of a crisis, and so they're all trying to learn more,” Banker said.

The day's event was training. Sacred Heart Hospital also offers certification classes. For more information, go to

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