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Lifesaving lessons

Carly Culbertson, 13, is confident that she could save your life.

The Bailey Junior High eighth-grader learned CPR along with her classmates last week during training sessions in the school gym.

The training is part of CPaRlington, an ongoing citywide effort to have at least 10 percent of Arlington's population proficient in the lifesaving technique.

"It was kind of nerve-racking at first," Culbertson said after her session. "But I feel like I could do it if I had to."

Students were given a CPR kit that included an inflatable head and chest manikin for practice and a booklet on CPR to help them teach their families the technique.

Why eighth-graders?

"They're at the right age -- they have the maturity to do this and the ability to retain the information," said Vernon Wickliffe Jr., clinical training specialist with American Medical Response, the city's ambulance provider.

Students compressed the manikins' chests for 30 counts to upbeat music, then blew breaths into the manikins' mouths for a few seconds, then compressed again. It all had a Jazzercise feel as instructors shouted directions.

"It was easy," said Aaron Walters, 14, as he folded up his kit. "I'm really getting tired, though."

CPaRlington

9,200: Arlington residents trained since last year

36,000: number of residents city wants to have trained in CPR by 2010

400: Bailey eighth-graders trained last week

Trainers: Paramedics with the Arlington Fire Department, Arlington Memorial Hospital, CareFlite, and American Medical Response.

Web site: www.cparlington.org

Source: City of Arlington

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syjinkins@star-telegram.com

Shirley Jinkins, 817-548-5565

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