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Local nonprofit EnFocus holding CPR training for 1,700 St. Joseph County students Thursday

Students learn CPR during the first mass training at Four Winds Field in 2017.
Jennifer Weingart
Students learn CPR during the first mass training at Four Winds Field in 2017.

After a two year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local nonprofit EnFocus is holding a mass CPR training for more than 1,700 St. Joseph County eighth graders on Sept. 21 at Four Winds Field.

According to a press release, eighth graders from schools across the county will arrive at the stadium around 10:30 a.m. to be trained in CPR by over 75 EMS, police, fire and medical volunteers.

The Save a Life training program began in 2017 as a way to improve the survival rate for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest after data from several area health systems found that local deaths were higher than average.

Administering CPR immediately significantly improves the chance of surviving a heart attack, which is a leading cause of death for adults over 40 in the United States. If CPR is given in the first five minutes, it can double or triple the chance of survival.

Since starting, the program has taught CPR to over 4,000 county students. They are also given take-home kits to teach friends and family members, with a 2019 study finding that students who got the training went on to teach CPR to an average of 2.95 additional people.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.