Imagine this: you're having a fun family barbecue only to discover that your child is nowhere to be found. They've fallen into the pool and they cannot swim. You dive in and pull them out.

What do you do next?

How about if your father is taking an enormous bite of the sizzling bacon cheeseburger that you just served him and he suddenly begins clutching his chest. Do you know how to save him?

Or maybe your pregnant sister is chatting away while snarfing down some fruit, only to begin clutching her throat. She's choking. How do you do the Heimlich on her? What happens if she passes out before you can dislodge the food?

These are all real scenarios that happen every year, and knowing one simple skill you could save a loved one's life.

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is officially underway and the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross and the National Safety Council want you to be prepared for these terrifying moments.

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Credit: WesTex CPR Marketing Manager Jeri Ybarra
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that "currently, about 9 in 10 people who have cardiac arrest outside the hospital die. But CPR can help improve those odds. If it is performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival." Every second counts. Thankfully, there are resources right here in Lubbock to help you be the difference in someone's existence.

Jordan Dunlap, owner of WesTex CPR, offers residents a hybrid course that involves both online education and in-person training.

"The online course is completely self-paced. As long as it's done within seven days, you can break up those four and a half hours. In my opinion, you retain the information better that way," Dunlap said. "Once all of the videos have been watched, you will take a 40 question test."

A passing score leads to hands-on instruction where you put into action what you just learned. Dunlap notes that by enrolling in the Layperson's course, you will get a full understanding of how to conduct CPR on an adult as well as on an infant and child. This can be extremely beneficial for new parents and grandparents.

"Kids can suffocate in as little as 30 seconds. Between them putting everything in their mouths and introducing food to them, you just never know," she stressed. Most importantly, your kids aren't always going to be able to articulate that they need help. By taking courses like these, you can better educate yourself to recognize the signs that a child is in distress. This, in turn, will make you a better parent.

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Credit: WesTex CPR Marketing Manager Jeri Ybarra
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Additionally, Dunlap wants to remind folks that this certification only last for two years, so re-familiarizing yourself with the material is important.

"CPR guidelines are ever changing," she said. "You want to keep up with all of the new information, and not only that, but every two years, you want your hands actually be feeling what you're doing."

In a moment of crisis, you need to have this information at the ready to allow you to make these lifesaving moves. Not only that, but as time moves forward, your priorities change. When initially getting certified, you may not have been responsible for another life or your wife may not have been pregnant. By staying up-to-date on your certifications, you can better ensure that you are ready for whatever life brings your way.

For more information on the array of courses that they offer, make sure to check out the WesTex CPR website or give them a call at (806) 412-4006.

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