Life lessons at Newport Harbor

A group of high schoolers learned how to save lives this week.

Over the course of the last three days, the Newport Beach Fire Department and Newport Beach Lifeguards taught a Newport Harbor High School health class about lifesaving and beach safety.

During Friday's class they recited some rules they learned to lifeguard Mike Ure.

For jellyfish, apply vinegar. For sting rays — hot water. And don't dive into the ocean where you often can't see the water. You could end up with a neck injury.

"That's one of our biggest and most detrimental injuries out there," Ure said.

Thursday, the class practiced CPR on full-size dummies, and Newport Beach Fire Department Capt. Brad Smith encouraged class members to put that training to use if it's ever needed — even if they're rusty.

"Just do something. Just do compressions," he said. "You're buying us time to get there. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Do something," Smith said.

Practicing infant CPR was the main event Friday.

Students paired up and pressed two fingers into the dummies' chests while a beat pumped through the room teaching them the correct frequency.

Brandon Hodding said he's been doing this training for 10 years at local high schools and each class takes it differently, but the end benefit is more help for first-responders.

"It's really nice if you show up on a scene where someone is already doing CPR," he said.

But the training could benefit someone much more personally than emergency personnel arriving, Smith said.

"A decision they make two or three years down the road could save someone's live," he said. "You just don't know."

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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