Ever have the sad misfortune of watching someone have a heart attack. I have. It was 20 years ago at the downtown YMCA. Older gentleman collapsed in front of me and I had no idea what to do. 911 was called and rescue workers arrived a few minutes later. Unfortunately, the man died. It is very possible I could have saved his life had I known CPR.

Today, I could handle the situation. I spent several years as a volunteer fireman in Sparta Township and was a certified emergency first responder. I performed CPR dozens of times and often applied an AED -- an automated external defibrillator. CPR and AED only work if we have the know how and can get to a victim quickly. I know for a fact a gentleman I helped revive is still living today. It'll never make up for my ignorance back in the 80's but....

Certification is easy. In Seattle, close to 800,000 citizens have been trained in CPR and the use of AEDs. Their sudden-death recovery rate is about 75 percent. Grand Rapids Fire Department wants to see those kind of numbers in Grand Rapids.

If I can do it, so can you.