Veteran Iowa referee Bernie Rangel remembers tossing the basketball to the bench area and not much else. He had collapsed on the hardwood court just as the seventh-grade basketball game he was set to referee was supposed to start. Moments later, three nurses, an EMT, and a police officer, all there to cheer their kids in the game, were on the court helping Rangel. This according to a report from WQAD.

Melanie Hermann, one of the nurses who gave aid to Rangel, told WQAD that it was nurses intuition that gave her the inkling that Rangel was in trouble and to get involved. She believes the others who helped felt the same way.

Rangel was in cardiac arrest and the nurses, EMT, and the police officer who helped him administered CPR and used an AED, an Automated External Defibrillator, to save his life.

Which brings me to this: CPR is easy to learn, and learning to use an AED isn't very difficult. Bernie Rangel was blessed because with three nurses, a cop, and an EMT he had trained professionals there to help save his life. Yet, the average person can learn CPR and learn how to use an AED and save a life too.

St. Luke's Hospital and Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids both offer CPR classes. The next class at St. Luke's is February 6. Mercy's next class is February 27.

Bernie tells WQAD he's forever grateful for the people who saved his life. Because of them, he'll eventually be on the court refereeing another game. That's good news. The better news is you and I can easily learn how to save someone's life through CPR and using an AED. All we have to do is dedicate a few hours of our time to learn.

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