Hands-Only CPR Mobile Tour to train future lifesavers in Springfield and Joplin

Springfield, Missouri, Sept. 2019 — Without CPR, Gretchen Cliburn of Springfield wouldn’t be alive today. Nine miles into a half marathon, Gretchen suddenly collapsed. Thankfully, four fellow female runners knew CPR and took turns administering it for the 25 minutes it took the ambulance to make its way through the racecourse. Doctors eventually diagnosed Gretchen with a rare arrhythmia called Long Q-T Syndrome and implanted a cardioverter defibrillator to prevent another emergency. started CPR while another called 911. Gretchen now uses her near-death experience to teach others the importance of learning hands-only CPR.

Hands-only CPR has two easy steps, performed in this order: when you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911; then, push hard and fast in the center of their chest until help arrives. The American Heart Association and Anthem Blue and Cross Blue Shield Foundation will team up to train the public in this life-saving skill during a mobile tour that will stop in Gretchen Cliburn’s hometown of Springfield, as well as in Joplin, Missouri. 

During tour stops, participants will learn hands-only CPR during interactive sessions set to music. Two emcees will lead 30-minute sessions in which they perform a song that is 100 to 120 beats per minutes–the rate you should push on the chest during CPR. Research shows that people are more likely to remember the correct chest compression rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song with 100 to 120 beats per minute, according to a study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

The hands-only CPR tour will stop at the Joplin Memorial Hall parking lot, located at 212 W 8th St., Joplin, MO 64801, on Wednesday, October 9. Thirty-minute CPR training sessions will be held at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. 

Springfield’s Hands-Only CPR event will be held on Thursday, October 10 at Ozarks Technical Community College, located at 1001 E Chestnut Expy. CPR trainings will be held at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. 

Hands-Only CPR demonstrations will also be given at the Four States Heart Walk in Joplin on Saturday, October 12. All trainings are free. 

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year in the U.S. About 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die, according to the American Heart Association. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Yet, less than half of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander.

“With about 70 percent of cardiac arrests occurring at home, a person will likely be trying to save the life of someone they know and love if they’re called on to perform hands-only CPR,” said Jennifer Jaeger, executive director at the American Heart Association. “The Association urges the public to get trained because we need more lifesavers in our communities to be prepared to spring into action if they see a person suffer a cardiac emergency.”

The Hands-only CPR Mobile Tour will stop in nine states during its eight-week trek: Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. The American Heart Association and the Anthem Blue and Cross Blue Shield Foundation aim to train 250 people at each stop–the first 250 participants at each stop will receive a free Hands-Only CPR Anytime Training Kit to take home to train their family and friends in this life-saving skill. 

“Anthem is dedicated to supporting important initiatives that empower our community to become actively engaged in their health and wellness,” said Amadou Yattassaye, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri. “Most people feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to perform CPR or they may be afraid. But the training and education provided during the tour will help people acquire a comfort level and confidence with performing CPR, which may make the difference for someone they know or love.”

In addition to the training sessions, the tour will feature the following:

  • AED Learning Lab: This interactive station shows users how to properly use an automated external defibrillator or AED.
  • Mobile Kiosk Learning Lab: This instructional station will provide an opportunity to learn hands-only CPR on a high-fidelity manikin, that is connected to a touch screen laptop. Participants can practice hands-only CPR on the manikin and do a test session that will generate a score and provide real-time feedback on their training. 
  • Prizes and Giveaways: The events will have a Q&A session for a chance to win prizes, as well as additional giveaways like branded tote bags and branded t-shirts.
  • Social Media Stations: Visitors can post about their training experience and share information about hands-only CPR via social media stations.

Gretchen Cliburn will be at the Springfield event to talk about her experience with hands-only CPR. Bobby Ballard will speak at the Joplin event. Bobby is also spreading awareness of heart disease in Missouri by being the October featured survivor in the #NoMOHeartDisease initiative–the American Heart Association’s year-long initiative to increase awareness and reduce the prevalence of heart disease in Missouri. 

To pre-register for a Springfield training session, visit heart.org/cprtour/ozarkstech.

To pre-register for a Joplin training session, visit heart.org/cprtour/joplin

To learn more about the Hands-Only CPR campaign and get ready to save a life, visit heart.org/handsonlycpr or facebook.com/AHACPR.


About the American Heart Association 

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries: 314-307-0510

Julie Lay: julie.lay@heart.org, 314-307-0510

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

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