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In about an hour or less, people could learn how to save a life with a free training class from LifeNet Inc.

The organization offers Bystander CPR and AED training classes to groups of 10 or more for free.

"We teach them how to do quality chest compressions and the reasoning behind Bystander CPR," said Tina Bell, LifeNet director of public relations.

"We don't want people to be afraid. We want them to know if you do quality chest compressions, you can save their life."

The training also covers AED usage.

"Then we teach them how to use an AED. If you're in public place where they have an AED, we don't want people to be afraid of using it. They're fairly intuitive. It walks you through the steps," she said.

In most cases, when a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest there is only about a five- to eight-minute window to receive successful treatment.

"Roughly every minute chest compressions aren't being done, the chance of survival decreases by 20 percent," Bell said.

Recent research has shown that Bystander CPR increases the odds of survival.

"The American Heart Association recognized several years ago that a lay bystander doing chest compressions without rescue breathing was almost as effective as doing what we consider normal CPR which is chest compressions and rescue breathing," she said. "A bystander not trained in CPR needs to know two things. First call 9-1-1. The second is how to do quality chest compressions."

An American Heart Association study questioned people who'd witnessed a sudden cardiac arrest about why they didn't do CPR.

"People told them were afraid of doing it wrong or they didn't want to give rescue breaths," Bell said.

LifeNet employees will visit any organization, business or group as long as 10 or more people sign up for the training, which can also be done at LifeNet.

"In the month of June we taught two to three classes every week. We would love to be teaching it more. Our goal is for every person in the community to know how to do Bystander CPR, and we want to have an AED on every corner," she said.

To schedule a class, call 903-556-0301.

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