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Pacific edition, Wednesday, April 25, 2007

CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — The American Red Cross has a shortage of instructor trainers at U.S. Forces Korea bases and is looking for volunteers, Red Cross station managers said.

The customary one-year tour in South Korea has left the peninsula with only a handful of trainers capable of showing others how to teach servicemembers and families about changes in the recommended CPR and first aid guidelines, as well as other courses.

Red Cross CPR/first-aid training is targeted more toward potential emergencies encountered in everyday life, while combat medical training focuses on bleeding control, said Brenda Hindman, Camp Red Cloud’s Red Cross station manager.

Servicemembers with combat training may find Red Cross training very helpful when they come home from service, Hindman said.

“They’re not always going to be on the battlefield,” said Hindman, who has deployed to multiple combat zones.

“You are more likely to use first aid on people you know more than anyone.”

Several techniques and guidelines have changed over the past year for CPR and first aid.

Among the most noticeable changes: The old CPR guidelines recommended 15 chest compressions for every two breaths into the mouth, and less for children and infants.

The new guidelines recommend 30 chest compressions for every two breaths, for all age groups.

The breaths used to be deep and last two seconds; now, normal breaths lasting one second are the standard.

The old ways aren’t wrong or ineffective, Red Cross managers said.

The new methods and techniques stress the greater importance of chest compressions and are a little easier for practitioners with no medical experience, they said.

“It still takes about same amount of time, and I think people feel more confident at the end of training sessions,” said Ingrid Torres, Kunsan Red Cross station manager.

Red Cross first-aid/CPR classes are available at several bases throughout the Pacific at least once per month and more at larger bases, managers said.

The class usually costs about $35.

Instructor courses cost $60.

The Red Cross also offers baby-sitting courses at some installations, along with other services.

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