‘We can save so many lives’: Hundreds learn vital hands-only CPR at Florida Black Expo

3 Jacksonville hospitals team up with American Heart Association for classes at TIAA Bank Field

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Anyone who’s ever practiced CPR knows it can be a workout. But it’s a workout that can save someone’s life.

Nicole Mobley learned that firsthand on Saturday during the Florida Black Expo at TIAA Bank Field.

“I was hoping that I wasn’t going to break their breastbone!” Mobley said during a hands-only CPR class offered at the expo. “Just making sure that I was getting my formation right and pressing correctly. I think I could do it if I needed to.”

Organizers said the goal was to train at least 500 people at the Black Expo as three Jacksonville hospitals teamed up with the American Heart Association to help those in the African American community save lives.

The current guidelines show the key is hands-only CPR. Mouth-to-mouth is no longer considered to be necessary.

This is what helped save the life of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, following his on-field cardiac arrest last month.

Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin speaks in front of University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff during the NFL Honors award show ahead of the Super Bowl 57 football game,Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Hamlin just made a surprise appearance at the NFL Honors. In a sit-down interview, he said this about the trainer who sprang into action that day:

“I owe Denny my life, literally. He loves to say he was just doing his job, which is true. That night, he literally was the savior of my life,” Hamlin said.

Lynn Sherman, executive director of community transformations at Baptist Health, said she saw Hamlin at the awards ceremony.

“It brought tears to my eyes as it did everyone in the audience,” Sherman said. “Starting those chest compressions immediately can make all the difference.”

Sherman said more people learning hands-only CPR could be life-changing for the community.

“If anyone in the community can call for help, continue the hands-only CPR until someone comes, the EMTs are there, we can save so many lives,” Sherman said.

And when you’re doing CPR, it’s kind of a good idea to have a tempo in your head, like the Bee Gees’ song, “Stayin’ Alive.” Or even “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake.

Get this, there’s even a Spotify playlist that has been used for CPR. Just call it a song of survival -- and a key part of this invaluable, life-saving skill.

It’s also important to note the main difference with CPR on an infant or small child. Compressions are to be performed with one hand, instead of two. This way, the pressure is not as hard since children’s bodies are more fragile.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.