Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

Harrison College Honoring Fort Wayne Teen And Firefighter Who Used CPR To Save Life

Garrett Spires, 16, spent a week learning how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during his freshman year at Concordia Lutheran High School. Earlier this summer, he put his training to use after an unconscious woman was pulled from a local pond.

Spires immediately began chest compressions on the woman while his father, Dean, a veteran firefighter with the St. Joseph Township Fire Department, began air resuscitation. Their swift action implementing CPR brought the woman back to life.

On Saturday, August 15, Harrison College will honor Garrett and Dean Spires as “Harrison Heroes” prior to a free CPR training class at the college. The Spires also will share their story and experience with the class participants to emphasize the importance of being CPR certified.

“Harrison College has been part of the Fort Wayne community since 1999 and are proud of people like Dean and Garrett Spires who work to make our community better,” said Kynan Simison, president of Harrison’s Fort Wayne campus. “By offering these free CPR courses, Harrison hopes to equip more people and families in the area with this life-saving skill.”

Through September, Harrison’s 11 campuses in Indiana and Ohio are partnering with local chapters of the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, hospitals and other health organizations to offer free CPR training courses.

Harrison’s Fort Wayne campus is hosting six training sessions starting on Tuesday, August 11.

“Hosting free CPR classes at our campuses is part of Harrison’s commitment to being a community educational resource and to providing those in the community with an invaluable skill that can help save lives,” said Jason Konesco, president of Harrison College. “Harrison believes that providing this type of education in the classroom and beyond empowers our students, their families, friends and communities.”

The American Heart Association estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 people could be saved each year if CPR were performed early enough, and about 70 percent of Americans feel helpless during a cardiac emergency because they do not know CPR or their training has lapsed.

Attendees who complete the training through Harrison will become CPR certified for two years and will be eligible to receive a $2,500 tuition credit to attend Harrison. Each campus will award one attendee with the credit, for a total of more than $30,000 in tuition credit awarded to help new students pursue or continue a higher education degree.

To register for classes, visit

What: Free CPR training classes at Harrison College

Who: Harrison College in partnership with community organizations including the American Heart Association and American Red Cross

When: Tuesday, August 11, from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 12, from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Friday, August 14, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 15, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Monday, August 17, from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 19, from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Harrison College’s Fort Wayne campus – 6413 North Clinton Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46825