Mark Clairmont |

GRAVENHURST — Hundreds of outstanding classic cars and trucks will fill the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce auto show Saturday.

Stayin’ alive could be as easy as this Hands Only system: Call 911 first,  then apply hard, fast pumps to the centre of the chest. And singalong to the tune ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ “1-2-3-4, uh, uh, uh, uh … Stayin’ alive.”

But they’ll move aside by taking a back seat to first responders, who will offer free two-minute hands-on life-saving CPR tips.

That firefighters and paramedics in Muskoka regularly save lives should be nothing new to most people, but the two first responder groups in Gravenhurst are teaming up to save even more lives through education.

The two groups are uniting to offer a free “Community CPR Clinic” this year at the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Car Show on June 15th at Gull Lake Rotary Park.

Teams of paramedics and firefighters will be on hand to demonstrate and teach “as many people as possible” in the newly sanctioned “Hands Only” method of doing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

“Hands only CPR is so simple, virtually anyone can learn to save a life in two minutes, and if that’s all people have to spare with us while walking through the car show, we’ll be only too happy to show them how they can literally save a life in two minutes or less,” says Larry Brassard, Gravenhurst Fire Chief.

It’s important to note this clinic is for education purposes and not certification, he said in a news release.

‘Hands only’ CPR has been shown to be effective in saving lives, and is gaining in popularity because it doesn’t require people to do the mouth to mouth component of CPR which some people find difficult to do.

“Studies have shown that merely doing the chest compression component allows oxygen (which is already in the blood stream) to be transported throughout the unconscious person’s body and supply the vital organs until further help can arrive,” said Isaiah Tryon, paramedic and community relations coordinator with Muskoka Paramedic Services, District of Muskoka.

“If a loved one is having a heart attack, the more people who can initiate this life saving technique, the better,” he adds.

Join the free two-minute talk at the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce car show Saturday at Gull Lake Rotary Park.

Both point to the importance of being prepared for this type of emergency and responding quickly. “Calling 911 should always be the first act if someone suspects that either they or someone else is having a heart attack,” said Brassard.  “Following that up with properly done chest compressions can save someone’s life,” said Tryon.

People have a far greater chance of surviving a heart attack or other similar life threatening events if a by-stander intervenes and starts CPR as soon as possible in such a situation, or perhaps in a circumstance involving a drowning or even a car accident. In the home or at the cottage, this might mean having to do CPR on a spouse or child. Giving someone whose injured their best chance of survival means learning how to perform the chest compressions and actually having the confidence to do it.

Taking two minutes out of your day while strolling the pines and the cars at the car show might just mean that you could save a life. “Wouldn’t that be the best gift you could give someone ever?”