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Black Forest AARP

February meeting honors heart month and fire safetyThe Black Forest AARP Chapter hosted†an updated and comprehensive stroke and heart attack awareness program at its February meeting. Jim Rebitski,†Black Forest Fire/Rescue Protection†District assistant chief and paramedic, presented the program.† † † †Rebitski discussed the†physiology of the human heart and†identified the distress symptoms and problem indicators†that differ in males and females.†In all†cases, anyone with symptoms should call 911 because rapid†response is critical to a personís†survival.†First responders have the equipment and training to†measure and†stabilize the person en route to the hospital.† † † †Recent studies show that 47 percent of†deaths in the United States are caused by†coronary disease, and itís about even for males and females, Rebitski said. Teenagers have†suffered heart attacks as well.†Strokes result in 16 percent of deaths in the†U.S.† † † † †Although anyone can suffer a stroke or heart attack,†individuals in the highest risk categories include smokers; people with poor†eating habits, stressful jobs and family histories of heart disease; and people who donít exercise. † † † †Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are safe and easy to use, Rebitski said. The AEDs are commonly found in malls and stores, and each machine is programmed to walk†the user†through the application steps.†Immediate AED use is critical to†the survival of a†person whose†heart has stopped.† † † †Medical alert systems are effective, and recommended†for†individuals who have limited mobility or are at-risk and live alone.† † † † †Rebitski used a manikin to demonstrate the proper application of CPR (cardio-pulmonary†resuscitation). CPR is designed to keep the heart†lungs, and brain alive until†a†paramedic or doctor arrives.†He noted that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation†is no†longer†recommended for the general public.† † † †† † †During the regular meeting, Chuck Karlstrum, chapter president, announced that the AARP Western Regional director recognized the Black†Forest AARP Chapter for completing a total of†7,225 hours of†community†service during the calendar year 2015.†Karlstrum also identified†several upcoming†community service work opportunities†for chapter members, including the monthly†senior socials, a driver†safety†course in March and the annual Fight Fraud ñ Shred Instead event in†June.††All events are†open to the public.†More information can be found at†† † † † †Rebitski returned to the podium to present a new home†fire safety program designed for the rural environment.†The program illustrated the doís and doníts†of fire safety, which included a safe exterior fire mitigation plan, home†fire extinguishers, wood and gas fireplace†safety, use of†carbon monoxide†detectors; and fire awareness regarding cooking fires, furnace, storage rooms and garage.†Black Forest Fire and Rescue will inspect homes and properties and make recommendations for fire mitigation at no charge. Call 495-4300 to schedule a free†home and property†inspection.† † † † †The motto of the Black Forest AARP Chapter is ìTo Serve not†to be Served.î†Individuals of all†ages†can become members. Dues are $10 per†year.†Call Chuck at 749-9227 or visit the†chapter website for†details.Driversí safety courseThe Black Forest AARP Chapter will host a driverís safety training session from 12:45 ñ 5 p.m. March 17 at the Fellowship Hall of the Black Forest Lutheran Church. A valuable review of new Colorado motor vehicle laws and old ones will be provided. Most auto insurance providers give a discount for individuals who have taken this course in the last three years. For reservations, the cost of the training materials and more information, contact Stephen at 719-597-5683.No fees, dues, obligationsA free senior social: Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road. The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about ìwhatever.î Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.Scholarships availableAre you a high school senior with plans to attend college or vocational school? Do you need help with tuition? Do you live in the Black Forest community? If so, the Black Forest Educational Opportunity Foundation is looking for you.The Educational Opportunity Foundation is a Black Forest community-based organization established to help local high school seniors achieve their educational goals by providing financial assistance. For 50 years, the EOF, local businesses and residents of Black Forest have provided academic and vocational scholarships to many young members of our community. Thanks to our generous supporters, we are ready to do it again in 2016.The EOF is accepting scholarship applications for the 2016-2017 school year. An application form, a list of requirements, and instructions can be found on the website at The deadline for applications is March 7.

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