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Press Release

Cardiac Arrest Survivors Help Teach Hands-Only CPR on May 22

Free trainings in Brentwood, Concord and Richmond

May 16, 2013

Joe Farrell felt lucky to know CPR after helping to revive a man suffering a cardiac arrest in 2007. He felt even luckier a year later - when cardiopulmonary resuscitation saved his life, too.

"I don't want to ever forget what I went through," said Farrell, a physical therapist from Danville who survived his own cardiac arrest in 2008. "When I think about it, it's like getting hit in the head by a two-by-four: I died."

Farrell's heart began beating again thanks to quick intervention from friends who knew how to perform CPR. To help spread this life-saving technique as widely as possible, he will join other survivors and volunteers May 22 to teach anyone who wants to learn.

The free event is part of the HeartSafe Community program, a public education effort led by Contra Costa Health Services' Emergency Medical Services Division (EMS). The county's emergency ambulance provider, American Medical Response, sponsors this event and others in 40 states as part of its "World CPR Challenge" to teach hands-only CPR to as many people as possible in one day.

"Hands-only CPR is almost as effective as traditional, mouth-to-mouth CPR when performed by a non-expert. It can triple a victim's chances of survival, and it takes most people less than five minutes to learn," said Contra Costa EMS Director Joe Barger.


Free hands-only CPR training for the public


8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 22, 2013


Three locations:

  1. The Streets of Brentwood, 2565 Sand Creek Rd., Brentwood
  2. California State University East Bay, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Concord
  3. Hilltop Mall, 2200 Hilltop Mall Rd., Richmond

For more information about the HeartSafe Community program, visit

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Press Contact
  • Dr. Joe Barger
  • 925-260-3126
  • Pam Dodson
  • 925-383-8849