DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — Decatur Fire & Rescue is hoping to raise awareness about the importance of CPR.

They have launched a hands-only CPR training program. News 19 spoke with Deputy Fire Marshal, Brandon Sivley, to learn more about the hands-only approach.

“Over the years, research has found that a lot of people weren’t comfortable giving mouth to mouth, especially somebody who might be a stranger,” Sivley stated. “So, we found that compressions-only was still a substantial help.”

Sivley said the more people who know CPR, the better a community can be equipped in an emergency.

“Unfortunately, the statistics on someone surviving an out of hospital cardiac event, is less than 10%, and a lot of that is attributed to the lack of people knowing or being willing to do CPR,” Sivley explained.

“So we desire to get that number up,” he said. “Whatever we can do to make people more comfortable doing it is our ultimate goal behind this project.”

The department’s “Lend a Hand, Decatur” CPR program can be requested by calling 256-341-4860.

Decatur Fire & Rescue does the trainings for free. Businesses, churches, and organizations can request the training. Sivley said the department is working on setting up monthly training sessions for the public at its training center.

He said the two-step, hands-only approach can be taught very quickly.

“We can equip you and actually give you the hands on portion of that in under 30 minutes,” Sivley concluded. “You could potentially save someone’s life by learning this.”