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CPR flash mob breaks out at Nisky' market

American Heart Association stages event urging lawmakers to pass bill

What looked like a group of regular shoppers at a Price Chopper in Niskayuna Wednesday, June 15, in a flash turned into a unique CPR demonstration.

The American Heart Association organized a flash mob, a recently popularized activity involving a group of people suddenly assembling and performing, to demonstrate the importance of knowing CPR. More than two dozen people began performing CPR on plastic mannequins to the tune of the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive promptly at 6 p.m. at the Price Chopper in Mohawk Commons. The event was organized to draw attention to the CPR in High Schools bill, which is before the State Legislature. If the bill passes, high schools would be required to teach CPR as part of their health curriculum.

"A heart attack can happen in Price Chopper, in the mall, on the Little League field, in church, anywhere, so it is kind of a spontaneous event," said Tony Marmo, board member of the Capital Region American Heart Association. "What we are trying to do is get a CPR requirement in schools, so that our youth will think this is an important thing to do and hopefully save somebody along the way."

One of the participants was John Mazer, 51, who had a heart attack in October 2009 while he stopped to pump gas into his car. He credited CPR for saving his life that day.

"Nine-one-one was called and EMT workers came and performed CPR on me for 40 minutes," aid Mazer, of Guilderland. "Without CPR I wouldn't be here today."

Since a heart attack can strike at any time and every minute counts towards surviving, Mazer said it is important for more people to be aware of how to properly perform CPR.

"If someone didn't know CPR there is no chance of survival, with CPR there is a much better chance of survival, and I am living proof of that," he said.

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