The Mogollon Health Alliance's free CPR Lifesaver classes have been such an unexpected hit that three more have been scheduled with the first, geared toward friends and family, set for 9 a.m. Saturday in the community room of the Payson Public Library.
"We thought at first that the response would be slow, so we were planning to hold one class per quarter," said MHA Marketing Director Judy Baker, who initiated the classes. "Well, we've already held three since January. The program is an unqualified success; people are just clamoring for it. They're calling our office, the fire department, the town."
In addition to their popularity as a service, Baker said, the four-hour cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes also "take a monkey off the back of the town. When the Payson Fire Department offered free CPR classes, taxpayers paid for the instructors and instruction books. But we're bypassing that through fund-raising.
"For example," she said, "we just held a CPR program for all the PATH (Police Access to the Homebound) volunteers at the Payson Police Department, and it was paid for in its entirety through our fund-raising efforts not from anybody's pocket.
"We think that's a really good thing."
In addition to a fifth general CPR Lifesavers class scheduled for June 2 at the library, a CPR Provider-Certified Class for those who must be provider-certified in the workplace will be held April 22 at Chaparral Pines.
"Within this first year, our instructors are hoping to teach CPR to a tenth of the Payson population," Baker said.
In the meantime, the Mogollon Health Alliance also is planning its next fund-raiser, the First Annual Charity Old Tyme Auction and Appraisal Fair, for Saturday, May 11, from 8 to 11 a.m. in the MHA offices at 308 E. Aero.
"We're still in need of donated items, and we'll take items on consignment," Baker said. "We'll have approximately 200 items to auction off in three hours time, and the vast majority of them are antiques and in incredible shape."
To register for a free CPR class, make a donation for the MHA auction, or obtain more information, call Baker at 472-2588.