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The Importance of Learning How to Save a Life

Living in the Gunnison Valley allows most of us the opportunity to recreate and live an action-packed lifestyle which can be inherently dangerous. Due to our remote location, our recreation areas are long distances from an emergency room and emergency staff. It is so important to empower our community members to respond effectively to control a hemorrhage and provide hands-only CPR - knowing these skills can save the lives of our families and friends.

Stop the Bleed and Hands-Only CPR courses at Gunnison Valley Health are offered for free as a resource to the Gunnison Valley. Taught by Gunnison Valley Health staff who are certified instructors, each hour-long class is an opportunity to learn lifesaving skills. Any community member or group can request a class.

“Everyone thinks CPR is something only nurses and doctors do, but bystander intervention saves lives,” said Gunnison Valley Health Trauma Coordinator, Gina Lambert.

A person can bleed to death in five minutes. Early intervention can stop this blood loss and increase a person’s chance of survival. In the Stop the Bleed class you will learn how to identify life-threatening bleeds and then how to respond. You will learn how to apply direct pressure, pack a wound and use a tourniquet to stop bleeding.

Hands Only CPR is just as important. Every minute a cardiac arrest victim goes without CPR, their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. According to the CDC, nine of out every ten people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die. If CPR is performed within the first minute or two of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or even triple the person’s chance of survival. Certain groups of people, such as residents of low-income neighborhoods or females, are less likely to receive CPR from a bystander. We can change these statistics by encouraging our friends and neighbors to take a free class to gain the skills and confidence to act in an emergency.

The classes are offered free of charge, on a date and location of your choosing, thanks to the generosity of the Western Slope Trauma Collaborative and Gunnison Valley Health. You can access these classes by visiting Gunnison Valley Health on the web at