DeSoto Fire Gives CPR Training to City In-House Artists Team

Top Row (Left to Right): DAL Artist Kassondra Jones, DeSoto Firefighter & CPR/AED Instructor Manoj Sewal, and DAL Artist Yolanda Hanspard. Bottom Row (Left to Right): DAL Artist Randi L. Betts, DAL Artist Nicole Dane, and DAL Artist Jennifer Kindert.

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, a handful of artists from the City of DeSoto Artist Lab (DAL) Residency Program reported to the Joe Brown DeSoto Fire Training Center on Wintergreen Road at 9:00 am sharp and stayed for several hours. They weren’t there to paint, or to help fire personnel create a Feng Shui environment. The City of DeSoto’s artist-in-residency team members visited the facility so that they could receive the lifesaving training needed to secure their required Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certifications.


“When our artists exhibit in our City of DeSoto facilities, they engage many visitors who stop to look at their work and ask questions about the individual pieces. Since the artists are often right there as the visitors filter by, we thought it would be a smart idea to require them to be certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use just in case a life-threatening emergency were to happen on their watch,” said Rolanda Brigham, Arts, Culture and Heritage Manager for the City of DeSoto.


This is the second consecutive year that the members of the DeSoto Artists Lab (DAL) received this mandatory training. In 2023, 14 persons affiliated with the DAL program received training and certification. On Saturday, five members of DeSoto’s Artists Lab received their training but a sixth member who was trained and certified last year was able to sit this one out.

“Knowing how to save someone’s life is one of the most important abilities there is, and we applaud the members of the DeSoto Artist Lab who came out Saturday to learn these critical life-saving skills,” said DeSoto Fire Chief Bryan Southard who added, “This might sound like an ‘abstract’ concept to some, but training our artists and any other dedicated community member to save lives in an emergency makes DeSoto both safer and stronger.”

To read more about the DeSoto Artist Lab Residency Program visit the DAL webpage at You can view the profiles of this year’s artists in our 2024 DeSoto Artist Lab Book at To learn more about the Joe Brown DeSoto Fire Training Center visit its website at

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