MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW)-- Marty Heidner has been arming the public with lifesaving skills for decades. She's taught First Aid and CPR for 37 years. Heidner's first interaction with the Red Cross came in the 1950s when she was in grade school and a girl scout. When she moved to Wausau in the late 60s, to work for what is now known as Liberty Mutal Insurance, Heidner was looking for a way to meet more people. She decided to teach.
"So I came to the Red Cross, and they agreed that I could become an instructor. I took the training, and I started teaching," Heidner said.
In her 30 plus years she's taught Boy Scouts and businesses. She's donned a hard hat and safety goggles. Today, she's helping dental workers get recertified.
"The class I'm actually working with tonight is my dentist's office. I do them every year. It's my chance to get even," she said.
The skills she teaches now aren't exactly the way things started out.
Heidner said, "When I started out we had two methods called either the prone method, or the other one was if they were laying on their back."
As with most things, the skills evolved eventually to what we use now.
Now, it's just pinch the nose, tilt the head back until you get the air to go in, and inflate the lungs with your breath," said Heidner.
Heidner teaches classes well into retirement. Her influence breathing life into a community wanting to learn the skills to be caregivers.
"I like to volunteer, and I like people. This is a way for me to interact with people and keep current on my skills, and I feel that I'm doing a good service for the community," she said.