Health leaders, Gee's Clippers collaborate to bring CPR training to community hub

NOW: Health leaders, Gee’s Clippers collaborate to bring CPR training to community hub

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Barbers put down their haircutting tools to learn CPR as part of an effort to bring valuable health information to the community.

A CPR class was given at Gee's Clippers in Milwaukee's Bronzeville neighborhood as part of a collaboration between the barbershop, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Fire Department.

"I wanted to bring this to their domain so they can learn how to do CPR and maybe save a life," Froedtert & MCW community outreach nurse Jasmine Johnikin told CBS 58. Johnikin runs the Gee's Medical Clinic inside the barbershop on Fridays.

"If we can be here at a hub a place where different people come, we can share that information, we can spread that information to the places that they go," firefighter and paramedic Albero Uscanga said.

The event was planned weeks before Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin collapsed of cardiac arrest on Jan. 2 during an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals. An athletic trainer for the Bills administered CPR to Hamlin, saving the 24-year-old's life.

"That was confirmation that we were doing the right thing," Gee's Clippers owner Gaulien "Gee" Smith said.

Smith said people of all ages and health backgrounds come to his business and equipping his barbers with this knowledge can have a major impact.

"Being so proactive rather than reactive cause anything can happen on any given day in this barbershop," Smith said.

The Milwaukee Fire Department will offer free CPR and Stop the Bleed classes on the third Saturday of the month at its stations. MFD said the Damar Hamlin case is a reminder of how valuable the training can be.

"It just reinvigorated that notion that I need to continue that mission of spreading this valuable information," MFD's Uscanga said.

More information about MFD's CPR and Stop the Bleed class offerings can be found HERE.

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