Randy Camp

During the Dec. 19 Catoosa County Board of Commissioner's meeting, Fire Chief Randy Camp discussed CPR classes and masks currently being offered to the public by the Fire Department. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

The Catoosa County Fire Department has been offering free CPR classes to the public for the past few months, and recently received a grant for CPR masks that they'll give away to those who take part in the course.

On Dec. 19, Catoosa County Fire Chief Randy Camp explained the classes his department has been administering, and discussed a $500 grant the department received from Tennessee American Water.

"We started conducting the free community CPR classes several months ago," Camp said. "Most of the classes are conducted at fire station one, and the citizens come to us. One of the things that we realized in conducting these classes is that we use mannequins, and people are reluctant to put their mouth on them and properly do the CPR resuscitation."

Camp says the department applied for the grant as a way to possibly get more people involved by offering the equipment to combat uneasiness.

"In the community, another thing people are reluctant to do is CPR on someone they don't know, especially mouth-to-mouth," Camp said. "With that being said, we thought it would be nice to have these masks. They run about $2 a piece. Tennessee American Water puts out public safety grants at $500, so we applied for it, and told them what we wanted to do with the check masks. We told them we would give these out to the citizens that took and participated in the class."

Camps says people might be more inclined to take the class or give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if they have the mask to use.

"They (residents) can carry them in their pocketbook, put them in their locker at work, glove box, or keep it at home so they have something to do proper CPR resuscitation. That's the concept we wrote in the grant, and they liked the grant and awarded us the $500."

Anyone seeking more information about the classes being offered can contact the Catoosa County Fire Department at 706-935-2001.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.