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Paramedics give free CPR lessons downtown

Paramedics give a couple a free CPR lesson on George Street Tuesday afternoon.
Cassie Aylward

As part of Paramedics Week, Ottawa Paramedics spent their Tuesday afternoon giving free CPR lessons in the Byward Market.

Paramedics’ spokesperson JP Trottier says they've noticed people are often uncomfortable giving CPR to someone who's had a heart attack because they haven't yet had the formal training.

"[They're] too busy to take a three of four hour course, or I'm afraid that I might hurt them or so on and so forth," he said.

Trottier says they're only teaching chest compressions, since studies have shown there's no difference in survival rates between those who get mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and those who don't.

Each lesson took about two minutes, and was done one-on-one with the paramedic and the student.

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