L.A. Fire Department offering 'sidewalk CPR' lessons Tuesday

The Los Angeles Fire Department is offering 10-minutes lessons Tuesday on how to perform "hands only" CPR.

The "sidewalk CPR" event, being held at several locations in L.A., is similar to a program last year, in which the LAFD and other agencies taught more than 5,000 people across Los Angeles County how to save a life using the latest techniques from firefighters and medical professionals.

Hands-only CPR focuses on the first few minutes after cardiac arrest because the lungs and blood contain enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for that amount of time.

Chest compressions provide the blood flow needed to improve survival chances until paramedics arrive on the scene, authorities said.

"Citizen CPR is a fast-growing movement to empower bystanders to save a life when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest," said Cathy Chidester, director of the county Emergency Management Services agency.

"We are glad to partner with the American Heart Assn., fire departments and hospitals to bring sidewalk CPR into local communities," she said.

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl