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Slideshow: Take Heart Woodbury kicks off

Staying alive, staying alive.

Attendees of the Take Heart Woodbury kick-off event Monday, Feb. 13, were singing that hit 70s single from the movie "Saturday Night Fever."

They were training to do hands-only CPR, and to stay on track, they took the advice of Dr. John Wheeler, a physician who spoke at the event. He explained why hands-only CPR is effective, and sang the song.

Pushing fast and hard in the middle of the chest is key, he said. To do that, think: "1, 2, 3, 4, staying alive, staying alive."

About 30 people attended the first training that began a campaign to train 7,000 residents in Woodbury proper hands-only CPR.

More training will be held this Saturday at 9 a.m. and at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27.

Those sessions are called "train the trainer," where residents who now know CPR will learn how to train others. Training will be held at the Woodbury Public Safety building.

Emergency personnel say if at least 7,000 people in Woodbury know hands-only CPR, chances are if a patient collapses in a public place from cardiac arrest, someone will be there to keep doing effective compressions in the middle of the chest until an ambulance arrives.

Woodbury resident Dale Wakasugi is a cardiac arrest survivor and a former high school basketball referee who collapsed from cardiac arrest in 2007 during a game.

He said he had been thinking about starting a campaign like Take Heart Woodbury but didn't know where to begin. He's grateful for the good Samaritans who helped him survive.

"If it weren't for people knowing bystander CPR and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator), I would not be here today," Wakasugi said.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.