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Firefighters Volunteer Time, Money to Teach CPR

7:25 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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WHEATFIELD, NY - The right person, in the right place, at the right time can save a life - but only if they have the right knowledge.

That's why learning CPR can be such an important skill and why a local first responder is spending a lot of his own time and money to make sure hundreds of kids are ready to act at a moment's notice.

Niagara Falls Air Reserve Firefighter Joe Foucha is teaching some important lessons to sixth graders at Niagara Wheatfield Middle School.

By Monday, about three-hundred of them, including his son, will have the knowledge to save a life if they're ever needed.

"So what I'm hoping to see is that they don't be afraid," says Joe. "I told all of them, it doesn't matter if the person's 40, or 14, or whatever. It doesn't mean the person knows more. They can be the hero, they can be the person who steps in where a crowd is watching something happen and say, I'll take care of it, I'll be the hero today and I'll try. That's what it boils down to: courage."

Three days this week and next Monday, he's sharing his CPR knowledge with the help of fellow EMTs and dummy equipment he bought from his own pocket.

And it's not easy.

"It's tiring," says Joe. "We just came off a 48-hour shift, rolling into 72 hours of CPR training. But, if one life gets saved you can look back and say you did something worthwhile."

No one asked him to hold these classes. In fact, he started this program with his own money and time, along with help from friends.

He even plans to spend more money and time to expand it next year.

"I would like to do it every year," says Joe. "And, like I said, those numbers add up. It starts at 300. Next year, 600. You just add 3 and 3 and 3. You have to assume with those numbers somebody's going to save a life."

If you're interested in learning CPR, the American Red Cross has a long list of classes on its website, redcross.org.

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