The 67 participants who attended Lane Regional Medical Center’s recent Keep the Beat training event at First Baptist Church of St. Francisville learned hands-on, life-saving CPR skills as well as how to recognize and provide basic care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, said Julie McLin, of Lane RMC.

“As a ‘thank you’ for hosting the event, the church will receive an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, for their use, a $2,500 value,” McLin said.

West Feliciana Parish school Superintendent Hollis Milton was the guest speaker and shared the story of his recent heart attack.

“I know I am a lucky man,” Milton said. “If anyone even suspects they are having a heart attack, please don’t wait; call 911 immediately.”

McLin said the life-saving class was provided free by Lane’s medical professionals because statistics are bleak.

According to Lane:

Only 1 in 20 people know CPR, yet cardiovascular disease is the top killer in the country, claiming 2,400 lives each day.

About 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before they reach the hospital.

Brain death starts to occur within four to six minutes.

CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the brain until defibrillation can be administered.

The event was sponsored by the Cardiovascular Institute of the South.