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Feb 23, 2014 12:20 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Citizen first responder class

TUCSON - Would you know what to do in an emergency? Local experts held a class Saturday teaching everyday citizens how to react, before first responders get to the scene.

From a minor car crash to a major disaster, the goal is to improve the response. Experts say seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

The classroom is comprised of doctors, nurses, medics and regular citizens. Dr. Sheldon Marks with the Medical Reserve Corps says everyday Joes are the true first responders, but often times don't realize it.

"Most people just stand there and freeze and do nothing. They think calling 911 and waiting several minutes is the right thing to do," Marks said.

The course combines lessons learned from the military, police and fire departments and passes it along to Tucsonans. Basic skills that can save lives says Tucson Fire Captain Kris Blume. "And having some tools in a tool box and being able to do come things and carry out some interventions, and moving through a situation safely is very important to having a resilient community."

Life saving skills like how to control bleeding and improve breathing, if needed.

Council member Steve Kozachik says, "Civilians really are the first responders, in almost all situations that are unforeseen and emergencies, so we want to make sure the civilians know what to do, not become a victim themselves."

There has been a lot of interest in this class. Organizers are looking to hold another one in the future.

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