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Cottonwood High coaches take CPR class to honor colleague

By Sarah Dallof | Posted - Aug. 12, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.



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MURRAY -- Cottonwood High School's football coaches got together Thursday to attend a life-saving class. It was in honor of one of their own who died in July.

What is... CPR?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest. When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to "buy time" until normal heart function is restored. -American Heart Assoc.

Thursday afternoon was the last of Cottonwood High's two-a-day football practices -- the last of hours of drills under the hot son. But when it was over, the coaches still weren't done. They were late for class.

They were attending a four-hour emergency response class that taught skills like checking an unconscious person and CPR. It was organized by defensive assistant coach Dave Blaisdell.

"The heart attack thing kind of set home with me; and reading the rules and that, and looking at my CPR certification going ‘mine's expired,' kind of rang a bell with me," Blaisdell said.

Prep Football

The heart attack was that of former head coach Terry "Teko" Johnson. He died last month while vacationing with his family in Atlantic City.

Though Johnson had only been with the team since January, he'd already left quite an impression.

"The kids talk about him a lot. They miss him," said coach Josh Lyman.

While no one knows for certain if CPR could have made a difference in Johnson's case, everyone at Thursday's class agreed on the importance of knowing CPR. The coaches say they're responsible for people around them, whether on or off the field.

"This is something we want to do. We want to be prepared," Lyman said.

You don't need to belong to a team or organization to take a CPR class. They're offered weekly at local Red Cross Chapters. CLICK HERE to find a class near you.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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