Chattanooga Red Cross: "Save-a-Life Saturday" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga Red Cross: "Save-a-Life Saturday"

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Story by Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords owes her life to staffers and perfect strangers who knew how to help after a man opened fire on her, and the people she serves, more than two months ago.

Saturday, Red Cross chapters are honoring her with "Save-a-Life Saturday".

More than 60 people showed up at Chattanooga's chapter for free training in first aid and CPR.

"I just don't want to be the person standing there watching it happen," says Karina Sheldon.

Karina Sheldon signed up for Saturday's free CPR training session at the Chattanooga Red Cross as soon as she heard about it.

"I've been in a situation where I came on a car accident and there was people that needed help and I didn't know what I was doing, so I just had to watch and it was a horrible feeling to just have to stand there cause you don't want to hurt them more," says Sheldon.

As a mother of a 2-year-old, Karina says her own personal experience and the images she's seen on the news recently, have given her a sense of urgency.

"With everything that's going on in the news, the realization that things happen so quickly, you really want to be able to know what you're doing in an instant and be able to help," says Sheldon.

The Chattanooga Red Cross is one of over hundred chapters across the country focusing on first aid and CPR training Saturday, a direct result of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona that took the lives of six people.

The course is 45 minutes long and covers first aid, CPR, controlling external bleeding and managing shock.

Even for the medically trained like Karina's dad, Dennis Smith, it's worthwhile to stay current.

"A review of the skills I learned years ago and find out if there's anything new; skills are always changing," says Smith.

Of course every emergency isn't as serious as Tucson, or the recent events in Japan.

Still, this mom says she's not taking any chances.

"Having a 2-year-old, that's another thing, I mean she's going start swimming this summer. I need to be able to know that stuff, absolutely," says Sheldon.

The Red Cross offered four separate sessions.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield even showed up to welcome the public and sign a "Save-a-Life Saturday" proclamation.

Click here for more on the Chattanooga Red Cross.

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