“You can’t say enough about the importance of knowing what to do, how to react, and doing that — that could very well be the difference between life and death.” That is a direct quote from Bill Hughes, the man who had a heart attack back in April while running the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K here in Richmond and lived to speak about it.10k-starting-waves-photo-1024x682

Hughes’s echoed the necessary call for preparation that is aligned with the essence of CPR and AED Awareness Week. Back in 2007, Congress unanimously passed a resolution to set aside June 1-7 each year as National CPR and AED Awareness Week to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. One would be hard pressed to find an example greater than the Bill Hughes story that captures the spirit of this week.

It was the fifth time that Bill ran in the event, which alarms us of being prepared for any unexpected instance where CPR and AED use can save a life. Fortunately, there were some runners that were near Hughes when he collapsed that were all knowledgeable of CPR methods. His daughter Bethany Gordon was running next to him during the race and knows CPR, which is required for her job as a preschool teacher. The other runners who assisted in CPR and AED practices for Hughes were nurse Rachel Kelly, Dr. Monica Relvas, and firefighter Matt Howell. All four of the immediate helpers of Hughes were CPR ready and held jobs that required the relevant training.

What if you don’t have a job that requires CPR training?  How can you get the necessary training and where?

These are a couple of the questions that resonated to me after reading the story on Bill Hughes. Well, if you’re in the Greater Richmond area SwimRVA is an ideal place to become safety certified. The SwimRVA Safety School offers classes in CPR, First Aid, Lifeguard Certifications and re-certifications. Being prepared is essential and gaining life saving knowledge has definitely never hurt anybody.