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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 6, 2010



The New York City Fire Department, in partnership with NYC Service and New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) is launching FDNY CPR to Go, a new program offering free CPR classes at New York Sports Club locations in all five boroughs starting Wednesday, January 6 at NYSC Wall Street Gym, 30 Wall Street. Classes at NYSC are scheduled at various times on Wednesdays, Thursdays and weekends starting in January. Membership at NYSC is not required to take part in the FDNY CPR To Go program.

Participants in every class learn basic CPR skills from a member of the FDNY Emergency Medical Service. Volunteers for the class follow along using the CPR Anytime Personal Learning Kit, which features an instructional DVD and an inflatable mannequin.  All participants keep the kit they train with and are asked to pledge to use the kit to show five of their family members and friends how to perform CPR. 

“Performing CPR is critical because it provides immediate help to someone in need in those first moments before emergency responders arrive,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, “We’re very happy to be working with NYC Service and New York Sports Clubs in our CPR To Go program and for giving us another venue to teach this life saving information to the public.”

In 2009, the FDNY Mobile CPR Training Unit directly trained over 7,500 volunteers at EMS stations, schools, places of worship and community centers. Since the start of the FDNY Mobile CPR Training Unit in April of 2005, an estimated 35,000 people have been directly trained to perform CPR, and an estimated 55,000 people have been trained by those who have completed the free class.

As a part of the City’s recognition of the federal designation of September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, the FDNY and NYC Service trained nearly 500 New Yorkers in life-saving CPR the weekend  following 9/11 this past year.

FDNY CPR To Go is another great example of the partnerships NYC Service is fostering throughout the City so New Yorkers and companies like New York Sports Club can give their BLANK for the good of our City,” said Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. “Most exciting is that everyone trained through FDNY CPR To Go will share these skills to train five more people in life-saving CPR.”

NYC Service was launched by Mayor Bloomberg in April 2009, to meet his State of the City pledge for New York City to lead the nation in answering President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. The program has three core goals: channel the power of volunteers to address the impacts of the current economic downturn; make New York the easiest city in America in which to serve, and ensure every young person in New York City is taught about civic engagement and has an opportunity to serve. NYC Service aims to drive volunteer resources to six impact areas where New York City’s needs are greatest: strengthening communities, helping neighbors in need, education, health, emergency preparedness and the environment.

New Yorker Laura van Straaten approached NYC Service with the idea to expand the FDNY program into health clubs and then brought on NYSC as a partner.

“Like many people in my industry, I’ve been waiting out the economic crisis and wanted to do something meaningful with the time I had,” said van Straaten, who was VP and General Manager at a media and technology company that closed its New York offices in 2008. “I know there are many talented New Yorkers out there with ideas for how to contribute to their communities. It’s been gratifying to work with NYC Service, FDNY and New York Sports Clubs to help bring this to fruition.”

“At New York Sports Clubs, our staff maintains the current and essential skills required to handle various emergency situations,” said Alex Alimanestianu, CEO of New York Sports Clubs. “In keeping with our clubs’ emphasis on safety, it is equally important for us to train the public on how to assist in a potentially life threatening circumstance, make a difference and save a life.  We encourage our peers in the health and fitness industry to join us in this important endeavor.”

CPR training is free to all who volunteer to sign up for the class and is available year round, in English and Spanish, at locations across the city. Free CPR classes can be scheduled at other locations by calling the FDNY Mobile CPR Training Unit at 718-281-3888 or 311.

To sign up for a CPR class at a NYSC location, please visit For additional information on NYSC, visit


Assistant Chief of EMS John McFarland, NYC Service Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford, Vice President of Sales and Marketing from NYSC Russell Findlay, Members of the FDNY Mobile CPR Training Unit, NYC Service Volunteer Laura van Straaten


NY Sports Club Wall Street Gym, 30 Wall Street, between Broad St and William St


Wednesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. 

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Attached please find a listing of all CPR classes scheduled at NYSC locations

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Frank Dwyer, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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