Rockford Fire offers CPR lessons during EMS Week

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Local fire officials are recognizing Emergency Medical Services Week by teaching others.

The Rockford Fire Department spent Wednesday at the SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA teaching hands-only CPR. Officials say its a quick way to turn many locals into potential live savers.

"The main goal is to really get people to understand what they should be doing before we get there but after they already called 911," said Rockford firefighter and paramedic Matt Ebert. "If they see somebody that's goes down, we're just teaching them what to do to help the person survive."

Ebert says the compressions are the most important part of CPR. They should be done with straight arms, about two inches, deep on the chest at 100 to 120 beats per minute.

EMS Week is meant to celebrate the work of those who treat and transport people in health crisis situations. It was originally authorized by U.S. President Gerald Ford 45 years ago.