Saving Lives Program Begins New Year with CPR Training

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By Ashley Cunigan CCBP Student Program Assistant

The Division of Community Affairs’ Saving Lives program began a new year of programming on September 11 with a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) presentation by a representative from the American Heart Association (AHA) in the Center of Community Based Partnerships.

John Tutt, senior community CPR manager with the American Heart Association, met with Saving Lives members to discuss best practices for this year’s initiatives. He expressed enthusiasm about potential health improvements for Tuscaloosa County residents because of the good work of the Saving Lives program.

“There was a bequest specifically designed for Tuscaloosa County before I came in,” Tutt said. “I inherited a new role as the Southeast affiliate for community CPR and wanted to come to Alabama to meet those involved. I believe there are committed community partners in this area. We want to solicit ideas to be as impactful as possible.”

Tutt has been an instructor in first aid and CPR for over 25 years. He expressed strong convictions about the mission of hands-on learning and informed participation that could be completed in just two to three minutes. Using Automated External Defibrillator (AED) trainer kits, Tutt demonstrated the ease with which a person could become CPR certified. Saving Lives advocates were intrigued at the idea of running their own training sessions for their organization using the AED devices

“The clients we serve aren’t always part of a faith-based community, said Lynn Armour, executive director of the Good Samaritan Clinic in Tuscaloosa. “We want to provide resources that will make patients aware of their spiritual and physical health. There are a multitude of community events we could host to make an impact.”

Saving Lives contributors are not only focusing their attention on churches in Tuscaloosa. Community organizations, nonprofits and educational institutions are also helping in the efforts of this campaign. Lawanna Walker, Stillman College student development director, is planning a health fair event to engage students on campus.

“We aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel, we want the wheel to look better,” Walker said. Stillman College administration is looking to start an annual health fair with CPR components for students to be trained. Stillman’s athletics program has encouraged athletes to participate in this program with the hope that other students would become involved.

Dr. Nicole Prewitt, director of community programs and partnerships for community engagement in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, thanked Dr. Tutt and Saving Lives advocates for their contributions to the CPR program.