CPR Class

Newell News

By Ryder Heitz


NEWELL—Would you know how to react in the event of a cardiac arrest or first aid emergency? With more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the U.S. every year, knowing how to use an AED and perform CPR is an ever-important skill that can mean the difference between life and death.

Newell Ambulance Service members Sherry Hocking, Kurt Hocking, and Randy Decker led a comprehensive four-hour CPR, AED, and First Aid course on Wednesday evening at the City Hall. The AHA HeartSaver course “equips participants to provide essential first aid, perform CPR, and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) effectively.” The Ambulance team covered a wide range of crucial topics, including the proper use of an EpiPen, tourniquet application, administering Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose, and water safety measures. Water safety was of particular interest to the class, especially considering a tragic drowning incident last year.

High-quality CPR and the use of AEDs are critical to saving lives. According to the AHA, immediate, high-quality CPR combined with AED use can double or even triple survival rates. Despite this, research indicates that 50% of the workforce may not be prepared to respond to a cardiac or first aid emergency.

Previously, the Newell Ambulance Service provided training to Newell School students (grades 6-9), Newell School staff, Defender Bumper employees, and members of the Belle Fourche Irrigation District, training a total of 133 individuals.

The recent sessions held on May 11 and May 22 at Newell City Hall continued this vital training. All courses were free to the public thanks to a grant from the South Dakota Department of Health which expires on May 31. One more course is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. on May 30 at the Newell City Hall. 14 firefighters from the Vale Fire Department will be trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid. The course remains open to the public, so take advantage of this opportunity if you can! Upon completion, participants receive an AHA-certified course completion card valid for two years.

Sherry Hocking encouraged everyone in the community to “take a CPR and AED class.” She said that she has enjoyed instructing the class and learned a lot through teaching. She emphasized the importance of first aid knowledge, especially in a rural area where accidents and emergencies can occur far from medical services. “You never know when you can save someone’s life,” she said.


Kurt Hocking assists Judy Dague as she practices infant CPR technique.

Heitz photo

Sherry Hocking and Randy Decker explain CPR methods to Jen Lowe.

Heitz photo